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Dismantling of Roma camps in Helsinki condemned
The Roma camps, reportedly in existence since August, were broken up in Kalasatama and Kyläsaari areas of the capital. There are reportedly similar camps and shacks within the Helsinki city limits and are occupied by Finnish derelicts.

HINDUS HAVE strongly criticised the Helsinki administration for reportedly dismantling two Roma camps, during the last two days, without providing them any alternate accommodation.

The Roma camps, reportedly in existence since August, were broken up in Kalasatama and Kyläsaari areas of the capital. There are reportedly similar camps and shacks within the Helsinki city limits, occupied by Finnish derelicts and homeless alcoholics. Jussi Pajunen is the mayor of Helsinki.
Meanwhile, United Nations had listed Finland as one of the countries which discriminates against Roma people.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, in a statement at the 12th session of Human Rights Council in Geneva on September 15, said: “Regarding access to housing, direct and indirect discrimination against Roma, Sinti and Travelers and / or forced evictions are known to have taken place in a number of countries, including Finland…”. She further said, “…more must be done to end such discrimination.”
Rajan Zed, a Hindu statesman, in a statement in Nevada on Thursday, October 29, said that it was simply inhuman to force the Roma in harsh conditions outdoors.
Zed, who is the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Finland to take care of its Roma population, who reportedly faced apartheid conditions. Maltreatment of Roma, who mostly migrated from India many centuries ago, was a dark stain on the country, which ironically prides itself for its human rights record.
Even in today's times many Finnish restaurants, stores and other licensed premises still do not allow them to enter. Replying to a telephone survey sometime back, some Finnish employers had admitted that they would not want to hire a Roma even if he/she had the qualifications for a job. This treatment continues even though the country's penal code, through an amendment in 1995, criminalised incitement to racial hatred and racial discrimination.

Zed stressed that it was moral obligation of Finland to improve the plight of its Roma population and stop human rights violations suffered by them, who numbered around 12,000 and were the most disadvantaged.
Roma reportedly regularly face 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.
Roma inclusion and integration programs needed to immediately take off the ground providing them with better health and education avenues, higher economic opportunities, sources of empowerment and participation, etc., Zed pointed out.
Rajan Zed stressed that Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, which represented about 80 per cent 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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