The speech of the Minister of Defense Krasimir Karakachanov in the village of Voyvodinovo made impossible the visit of students to the Ministry on the occasion of Vasilitsa - the Roma New Year.
Unfortunately, just on Vasilitsa holiday, when bridges are being built , we have to break a bridge maintained for 5 years. We respect the Ministry of Defense and the Bulgarian Army institution, where thousands of Roma have served, but we cannot accept that it is headed by someone who does not share key democratic values.
Due to the reasons described, we refuse the visit of students from the Every student will be a winner network on January 14th at the Ministry of Defense.
The text of the letter to the Minister of Defense, could be read below.
MINISTER OF DEFENSE
ABOUT:TRADITIONAL VISIT OF STUDENTS FOR VASILITSA, ROMA NEW YEAR ON 14 JANUARY 2019
DEAR MR. KARAKACHANOV,
Thank you for your willingness to continue the five-year tradition of hosting Roma and Bulgarian students from the Every student will be a winner network on the occasion of Vasilitsa by the Minister of Defense and the entire MoD leadership!
Unfortunately, your speech in Voyvodinovo, especially in its section "Gypsies in Bulgaria became extremely rude ..." you make this visit impossible, because:
1. One of the important principles that each student learns is that moral categories relate to the individual person and should not be attributed to a whole group. A key value that teachers educate is respect for the uniqueness of each person. Another important principle that students learn is that in democratic societies there is no collective guilt or responsibility that concerns the entire ethnic community. Speaking that all Roma have become "extremely rude", you are in sharp contradiction with these principles and values;
2. Teachers from different disciplines educate in their students love of words and responsible statements, because everyone has a moral responsibility for his/her words, even if having different intention. We hope that in Voyvodinovo you did not mean all Roma, but your words definitely left such suggestions;
3. An important challenge for every educator, especially for a multicultural teacher, is to make all children feel loved and respected, not to be offended, especially because of their ethnic origin. Certainly a part of the children we would have brought to the Ministry of Defense have felt affected by your speech and we do not want to put them in a confusing situation;
4. Among other things, the statement "Gypsies in Bulgaria became extremely rude..." is definitely untrue! We work with thousands of Roma students and their parents. They are neither "rude" nor "extremely rude". If some of them have this attitude, the same applies to some of the other ethnicities.
Due to the above-mentioned reasons, we refuse the visit of students from Every student will be a winner network on January 14th at the Ministry of Defense.
We regret that just on Vasilitsa holiday, when we build bridges, we have to break a bridge that have been built for 5 years. We respect the Ministry of Defense and the Bulgarian Army institution, where thousands of Roma have served.
Wishing you a tolerant year, and year of mutual understanding!
Chairman of Amalipe Center