Sweden should formally apologize for abuses incurred on its Roma populace over 100 years and compensate them adequately, distinguished religious statesman Rajan Zed stated in Nevada (USA) today.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed that “White Paper on abuses and rights violations of Roma”, published by the Swedish Government on March 25, clearly admitted mapping of Roma and assigning them codes, singling out Roma for sterilization identifying them “as an undesirable group in society and a burden”, taking custody of their children, entry ban on them on the notion that “Roma did not fit into society”, not registering Roma in the census, placing Roma children in remedial classes or special needs classes and obstructing the opportunities for Roma to support themselves and then blaming Roma for their own situation.
All this had made life for Roma populace in Sweden very difficult. Although apology and compensation would not bring the years back they suffered under apartheid like conditions in Sweden, these would at least be a step in the right direction and towards healing, Rajan Zed argued.
Zed, however, thanked the Swedish Government and its Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag for drawing up this White Paper “highlighting the abuses the Roma have suffered” and “showing how stereotypes and prejudices have developed and been passed down from generation to generation, and how this has formed the basis of government policy”.
Rajan Zed also urged the national church, Church of Sweden, and its Archbishop of Uppsala Most Reverend Anders Harald Wejryd, to push for national apology and compensation for Roma sufferings as religion told us to help the helpless.
Zed asked other countries of Europe to also publish similar white papers, honestly admitting how Roma had suffered apartheid like conditions over the years in their respective areas.