Bulgarian Minority Outraged by Parliament Chair's Goodwill to Serbia

Diplomacy | April 22, 2010, Thursday // 10:35|  views

Bulgarian Parliament Chair Tsacheva (right) with her Serbian counterpart Slavica Dukic Dejanovic last week. Photo by BGNES

Representatives of the Bulgarian minority in Serbia have protested against the behavior of Parliament Chair Tsacheva during the recent visit of her Serbian counterpart.

The Helsinki Committee for defending the rights and freedoms of Bulgarians in Serbia has submitted a letter of protest to the Bulgarian Parliament.

The Bulgarians in Serbia are outraged by the “unconditional support” that Bulgarian Parliament Chair Tsetska Tsacheva vowed for Serbia’s EU accession in her talks with the head of the Serbian Parliament Slavica Dejanovic.

“Expressing the logical disappointment and deep outrage of the Bulgarians in the Western Outlands (i.e. the historic name of the lands of the Bulgarian minority in Serbia), we would like to remind Mrs. Tsacheva that Serbia has not fulfilled its international commitments to turn in the last two war criminals to the Hague Tribunal, and that it continues to violate human and minority rights on its territory, the most obvious example for that being the Bulgarian minority,” says the declaration of the Committee signed by its Chair Zdenka Todorova.

“Our position is that until the Republic of Serbia does not give up its expansionist, secretly chauvinist, and anti-minority policies, it should be allowed to hold accession talks with the EU,” reads the letter.

It enumerates seven points summarizing the main problems of the Bulgarian minority in Serbia which the Serbian authorities have refused to resolve. These include the teaching in Bulgarian, violation of the right of religious freedom, the refusal to restore the name of Tsaribrod to the town of Dimitrovgrad, instigating anti-Bulgarian attitudes in the region including the opening of a tomb housing the bones of several thousand Serbs “killed by the Bulgarian occupiers in World War I in the town of Surdulica.”

The Bulgarians in Serbia also complained about an act of vandalism – the setting up of a cable operator antenna on the Bulgarian cemetery in Tsaribrod.

“The Bulgarians in Serbia are outraged at the silence of the Chair of the Bulgarian Parliament with respect to their rights. The same cannot be said about her counterpart Slavica Dejanovic, which expressed in the Bulgarian Parliament the Serbian position against the independence of Kosovo,” states the committee of the Bulgarian minority.

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Tags: Tsetska Tsacheva, Bulgarian minority, Tsaribrod, Bosilegrad, Zdenka Todorova, Slavica Dukic Dejanovic, human rights, minorities, Parliament Chair


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