Hindus want maiden Albanian Chairmanship (May 23 to November nine) of Council of Europe Committee of Ministers to highlight the issue of about 15-million European Roma (Gypsies), who are facing apartheid conditions.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it meant that new Albanian Chairmanship should not stay apathetic and silent spectator when fellow Roma brothers/sisters were reportedly facing blatant injustice and discrimination in Europe. He urged Albanian Chairmanship and President Bamir Topi and Prime Minister Sali Berisha to show strong political will, courage, and commitment in support of Roma cause.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that European Roma reportedly regularly faced social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, etc.
Rajan Zed urged Albania to also urgently empower and integrate its own vulnerable Roma community, who were reportedly trapped in extreme and chronic poverty and had suffered social exclusion and economic marginalization for a long period. About 80 percent of Roma reportedly still lived below poverty line and had been practically excluded from the economic growth of Albania. Zed, however, commended Albania for its recent “Inclusion of Young Roma in the University System” program.
Zed noted that Albania, the country of Mother Teresa, Skanderbeg, beautiful pristine beaches on Ionian Coast, fascinating classical sites like ancient Berat, dramatic mountain citadels; and whose history went back to prehistoric times, should do more to uplift Roma brothers/sisters as Roma apartheid was the biggest issue facing Europe today.