March 27, 2012
Hindus have criticized Finland for inhumane treatment of Roma (Gypsies).
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Roma had been reportedly evicted from Kalasatama camp and were not allowed to camp on City of Helsinki property or sleep in their cars in the severe winter.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that on the other hand, Occupy Helsinki movement had reportedly been permitted to continue their camp on City of Helsinki land, which included a tent and a hut, for the last few months in the middle of Helsinki. They were not against Occupy Helsinki movement but were simply concerned about Roma and fair implementation of existing laws; Zed said and added that all should be equal before the law.
Rajan Zed argued that instead of systematic discrimination against Roma, Finland should work on poverty elimination and Roma inclusion programs. It was simply inhuman to continuously crack down on poor Roma.
Zed noted that in the past, City of Helsinki had dismantled Roma camps without providing alternative accommodation, while there were similar camps/shacks within the Helsinki city limits occupied by Finnish derelicts and homeless alcoholics.
Rajan Zed urged Finland to take care of its Roma population who reportedly faced apartheid conditions. Roma had been living in Finland since 1500s and took part alongside other Finns in all of the wars the country participated. What more Roma needed to do and how many more centuries they had to reside in Finland to prove that they were “real and equal” Finns like any other, he asked.
Zed further said that it was 2012 and many Finland restaurants, stores, and other licensed premises still reportedly refused them entry. Replying to a telephone survey in the past, some employers reportedly admitted that they would not want to hire a Roma even if he/she had the qualifications for a job. Prejudicial treatment occurred even though the Finnish Penal Code, through an amendment adopted in 1995 [sections 11(8) and (9)], criminalized incitement to racial hatred and racial discrimination. The Criminal Code at Article 47(3) also provided for punishment of discrimination in employment.
Hindu statesman stressed that Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, which represented about 80 percent of the Finns, should also come out in support of the cause of this distinct ethnic and cultural group of Roma, because religion taught us to help the helpless.
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