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Director of Police of Ljubljana county was released from his duties

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d180_6040_borut_peterlin.jpg Director of Police force of Ljubljana county Mr. Branko Slak (on the picture) was released from his duties today. Chief of Police Mr. Romšek said that “the reason was deficiency in communication and execution of some operative steps”.

Although message sounds ambiguous I think I know exactly what it means.

When I reached the scene I immediatly noticed that this time was very different as it was ever before. If the usual scene on the barricades was about 10 police officers in their normal uniform passively observing gatherings and protests, this time was something completly different. The number of riot police force at the spot was about 120 and on barricade was only 250 people. State of alert was at much much higher level. When a police officer spoke to the crowd that Romas have a right to return to their land and they need to open the road I thought that the official attitude has dramatically changed and Romas will go home.

When I was with Strojan’s I received a conformation from two different sources that road will be secured for Romas. We were waiting a police reinforcement – a convoy of police cars which will escort Romas on their way home. And hours was passing by and after four hours arround 1am, Ministers Mate and Zver came to invite Mirko and two other Roma negotiators to discuss matter through. Literaly few minutes later I recieved a phone call from my collegue that Riot police force is retreating from Ambrus and that Janša made a deal with Strojans. I said that can’t be because few minutes ago Mirko Strojan was still here and I negotiation surely didn’t start yet. Also after “negotiation” I was speaking with Romas who were negotiating and they have told me that they got a feeling that for Janša and his Ministers return to their home was not an option at ALL! Of course that’s why riot police left the scene before the negotiation started.

The conclusion is that at the beginning police force was planning to assure safe road to Strojan’s home, but then Janša or his Ministers Zver and Mate decided that Roma will not reach their home.

2) “…and execution of some operative steps”

d180_6025_borut_peterlin.jpg d180_6036_borut_peterlin.jpg

I also thought that when a police force took their position they could do it in more settle way. First to ask people (with their loudspeakers) to move five meters backwards, so they could take their line. Instead they just started to yell and push people backward and people reacted the same and then truncheons started to sing.

Today I find out a very important news, that might bring very clear light why this drama with Strojan family is still happening. On Wednesday Minister Podobnik (Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning) will start his talks with Romas conserning legalization of Roma settlement through out Slovenia. Current state is that from 100 Roma settlement in Slovenia only 30 are legaly planned. Are they crazy or just very smart to start negotiation on this extremly sensitive issue in the times when Slovenia is governd by a mass psychosis against Romas?


Written by Borut Peterlin

27 November, 2006 at 23:44

3 Responses

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  1. Sooner or later the government will have to react. In my opinion sooner is better. Why waiting some period of time and then solving Roma issue if then the Ambrus story can repete in other parts of Slovenia or even in more greater scale(Is that even possible?). Lets solve the problems now once and for all.

    Changes will have to be made.


    28 November, 2006 at 00:20

  2. Sure, but we have different scenarios in mind. You might believe that legalisation will happen easy, just some paper work, but I believe many people will need to be resettled and many illegally build houses will be torn down. For example in Novo mesto there are around 730 Roma residents, about half of them are living on the land of Ministry of defence. Some houses are brand new, worth more then 100.000 EUR.

    I hope you’re right and I’m wrong.

    Borut Peterlin

    28 November, 2006 at 10:08

  3. Actually the meeting was organized on the initiative of Roma council. I still think that it’s not a good time to start the negotiation on this sensitive issue.


    29 November, 2006 at 23:18

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