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Exile.ru Burn, Baltics, Burn!


RIGA -- I flew to Riga last week for the May 9 Victory Day celebration, hoping to get an adrenaline fix from the promise of a riot. I've been to the Baltics many times, and for years now I've been expecting the Russian-speaking minorities in Latvia and Estonia to burn shit down. By any historical-moral standard we Westerners have set, the Russians in those countries have every right to riot. It took a long time, but finally, it happened.

The only question now is how much violence it will take before assholes like Rob Cottrell or Javier Solano recognize what should already be self-evident, and to what degree the Russian state will be involved in this second, and most dangerous stage.

by blackhawk on Sat May 19th, 2007 at 12:41:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This article sounds like an incitement to riot, in particular this
By any historical-moral standard we Westerners have set, the Russians in those countries have every right to riot. It took a long time, but finally, it happened.
but on the other hand there's the following

European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (Council Of Europe): Third report on Estonia (Adopted on 24 June 2005 made public on 21 February 2006)

Executive summary

Since the publication of ECRI's second report on Estonia on 23 April 2002, progress has been made in a number of the fields highlighted in that report. The number of stateless people who have obtained Estonian citizenship has been steadily increasing. The Law on Citizenship was amended in 2004 in order to make it easier for disabled people and children under 15 years old to acquire Estonian citizenship. Moreover, the Office of the Legal Chancellor's powers were extended in 2004 to allow it to examine cases of discrimination. The Criminal Code was also amended in 2004 in order to prohibit incitement to hatred and discrimination based on, amongst others, race, nationality or colour. The Law on Employment Contracts was also amended in 2004 in order to include provisions against discrimination in the employment sector.

However, a number of recommendations made in ECRI's second report have not been implemented, or have only been partially implemented. Despite the above-mentioned amendments to the Law on Citizenship, there are still approximately 139 000 stateless people in Estonia. This is in part due to the difficulties they face in obtaining free of charge Estonian language courses in order to prepare for the citizenship exam. Furthermore, the Russian community is still disproportionately affected by unemployment. ECRI also notes that there is still a great shortage in Estonia of sufficiently well qualified Estonian language teachers. Estonia has moreover not adopted a comprehensive anti-discrimination law nor has it passed a law on the rights and status of national minorities. Estonia has not developed specific policies for improving the integration of minority groups whilst taking into account their specific needs. In this regard, the Integration Foundation has focused primarily on the language aspect of their integration to the detriment of other issues that also need attention, such as employment and education. Furthermore, Estonia has not developed a consistent policy aimed at bringing the Estonian-speaking and Russian-speaking communities together. Estonia has yet to examine the full extent of the Holocaust in Estonia and to give it its rightful place in the national debate. Moreover, some electronic media continue to publish antisemitic articles with almost complete impunity. Furthermore, the Roma community in Estonia is still disproportionately affected by unemployment and discrimination in the field of education and remains largely ignored by the authorities. Law enforcement officials have received no training on issues pertaining to racism and racial discrimination. Finally, Estonia has not ratified any of the European or international treaties mentioned in ECRI's second report.

In this report, ECRI recommends that the Estonian authorities take further action in a number of areas. It recommends that they continue to provide Estonian citizenship to more stateless people. ECRI recommends in this regard that Estonia provide free of charge language lessons to stateless people who wish to acquire Estonian citizenship and that it continue to train Estonian-language teachers. It also considers that the Law on Cultural Autonomy for National Minorities should be amended in order to reflect the current realities of Estonian society. ECRI further strongly recommends that the Estonian authorities adopt an anti-discrimination law and a law on the rights and status of national minorities, as soon as possible. ECRI also wishes to impart on the Estonian authorities the importance of creating an independent body specialized in the fight against racism and racial discrimination. Moreover, it recommends that Estonia continue to prepare teachers, in particular in the largely Russian-speaking Ida-Virumaa County, for the education reform which requires that all State schools, starting from the 10th grade, start teaching 60% of the subjects in Estonian in 2007/2008.

So, yes, it seems Javier Solana should pull his head out of his arse.

By the way, it's the Council of Europe (not to be confused with the Council of the European Union) that deals with Human Rights issues. The EU doesn't seem to care a whole lot unless cases are brought to its attention. And note that, perversely, because a large part of the Russian speakers in Estonia are stateless, they don't have EU citizenship, so their recourse to the EU is limited.

As reference (since, of course, treaties like these are never retroactive), have a look at what the Council of Europe (of which Estonia and Russia are both members) considers should have happened had this treaty been in force back when Estonia gained independence from the Soviet Union: Council of Europe Convention on the avoidance of statelessness in relation to State succession (19 May 2006)

Oh, and Estonia is not the only accession country with problems related to stateless minorities as a result of "state succession". The Czech Republic also has a sizeable population of stateless Gypsies as a result of the partition of Czechoslovakia.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 19th, 2007 at 03:36:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]

In Estonia, issues are not limited to citizenship, but include state-supported xenophobia and active discrimination. Citizen or not, language inspection is used to fire people from jobs and non-Estonian name is enough to stop promotion regardless of citizenship and language skills. State security services actively crack down on any kinds of movements or organizations deemed inappropriate and applies pressure on private companies not to provide services to the said groups or individuals.
by blackhawk on Sat May 19th, 2007 at 04:01:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I should direct people to our previous discussion of the matter.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 19th, 2007 at 04:08:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That problem however was greatly reduced until accession. Not that other problems like job and discrimination, just like for ethnic Russians in the Baltic, were solved.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat May 19th, 2007 at 04:05:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That problem however was greatly reduced until accession.

Yeah, isn't that the problem?

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 19th, 2007 at 08:25:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The real big problem is that the problem wasn't greatly reduced until accession in the case of stateless ethic Russians in the Baltics. As for stateless Roma in the Czech Republic, I simply don't know hat changed and what not after EU membership, I should look up what is the present situation.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat May 19th, 2007 at 02:54:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This reminded me a little of a War Nerd article from last year.

It takes a long time for the hate-momentum to build between the imports and the locals. And the dominant tribe is always totally shocked when the underdogs finally get it together enough to strike back. The Tamils got walked on for years before they organized. Blacks in the US didn't start hitting back till the 60s; till then, "race riots" were whites hunting blacks in the cities. The Catholics in Ulster didn't hit back till they saw the footage from Watts and Detroit, even though they'd been stomped for centuries. The Israelis walked on the Palestinians and laughed at their feeble little PLO, till the second-generation insurgents like Hamas and Islamic Jihad started playing for keeps.

It's always the same story: it's not "violence" until somebody hits you back. Till then you don't notice your guys hitting the other tribe. That's just normal background noise. It takes blood, buckets of it, to get a person's attention. And not just anybody's blood -- it's gotta be your own, or that of a close relative. Otherwise it's just spots on the sidewalk.

Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

by det on Sat May 19th, 2007 at 03:46:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow! Nice pick det.

How many insightful writings/hours of day are there out here in the blogosphere? I can't take it anymore, yet I can't take not knowing.

A toast to all the insightful writers and the people who bring them to ET for my reading. Now, onto the bike for some fresh air and wide views.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sat May 19th, 2007 at 06:03:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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