World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

The Czech Govt Has Fallen: A Victory For Democracy

The Czech Govt Has Fallen: A Victory For Democracy, Disarmament And Nonviolence.
Prague, March 26, 2009

On 24 March the government of conservative Czech Prime Minister, Mirek Topolanek, was dismissed by Parliament with a motion presented by the Social-Democratic opposition. This is a great victory for the Non-violent Movement against the bases in the Czech Republic that saw the real possibility to oppose the installation of US military radar bases.

The Czech government is formed by the ODS, a right-wing party with a relative majority, and a small group of Christian democrats and Greens.

There are many reasons behind this loss: unpopular health system policies, as well as scepticism towards the European Union. The key element; however, was the conflict created in Czech society regarding the installation of the US “Star Wars” radar base.

70% of the Czech population is against the presence of foreign troops on their territory. The popular protest which lasted more than two years, created trouble for the government on several occasions and strengthened the opposition parties. Regional elections which took place last autumn, witnessed the fall of the majority parties.

“The great work of awareness-raising, mobilization and information dissemination we carried out in these years,” stated Jan Tamas, President of the Czech Humanist Party and leader of the radar base protest, “allowed the opposition parties to understand the danger of the “Star Wars” project and the Greens to realize their politics was very distant from that of other European Green Parties.”
As a matter of fact, the opposition of two Green Party members who distanced themselves from their party’s pro-military stance was the major cause of the fall of the government.

The installation of a US military base was one of the most heartfelt issues in the Czech Republic in the last few years. The hunger strike of Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar in May 2008 strongly moved the population. Since then, a chain hunger strike is still taking place in the country where different personalities fasts for one day. Personalities include scientists, academics, actors, directors, sportspeople, parliament members of different parties, as well as the Vice President of the Parliament. A widespread league of mayors against the radar was also formed.

“Maybe the international mass media will present the fall of the Czech government as the result of usual political tricks,” said Jan Tamas, “this is also true. The economic crisis is an important issue. But the government’s fall especially represents a victory for democracy, disarmament and the non-violent struggle. Without our protest, the government would never have fallen. Our people do not want foreign troops on their territory, the US will be forced to review their plans. It’s a victory of people not of politicians.”

Czech activists would like their example to be followed in other countries involved in the Star Wars project: Italy, Great Britain, Japan and India. According to them, a widespread opposition against Star Wars must be formed in favour of nuclear disarmament! The building of a missile shield in India could increase tensions with Pakistan and both countries have a nuclear arsenal.
Premier Topolanek, interviewed by the Newspaper Novinky, following the lack of confidence expressed in his government, reiterated the certainty that the future government will follow the path of ratifying the treaty with the US. Regarding this, Jan expressed his doubts, “after pressures generated by the hunger strike, the social democratic party was forced to take a clear stand in our favour. This will make it more difficult for them to change their minds on the radar issue.”

The Nonviolence Movement formed from the activity of a group of Czech humanists in December 2007. It aims to nonviolently oppose the US missile defense base planned to be installed in the Czech Republic. The movement gained wider recognition with the hunger strike of two of its founders Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar in May 2008, the following sequential hunger strike with more than 160 participants, as well as international conferences on the US Missile Defense and disarmament. Its website is www.nenasili.cz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Human Rights: China Journalist Jailed For COVID Reporting Seriously Ill, Must Be Released

UN human rights experts* today urged China to immediately release imprisoned citizen journalist and woman human rights defender Zhang Zhan on humanitarian grounds, saying her health is deteriorating rapidly and her life is in danger... More>>

CID: PNG Deadly Covid Crisis Getting Worse
People in Papua New Guinea are not getting enough Covid vaccines due to misinformation. This is causing immense stress and suffering throughout the country, says Quenelda Clegg Chair of CID’s Humanitarian Network...More>>


Sudan: Bachelet Condemns Killings Of Peaceful Protesters

At least 39 people have been killed by security forces in Sudan since the 25 October military coup, 15 of whom were reportedly shot dead on Wednesday, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights...
More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs

Food: Three Billion People Cannot Afford A Healthy Diet

Approximately three billion people, almost 40 per cent of the world’s population, cannot afford a healthy diet and another one billion people would join their ranks should further unpredictable events reduce incomes by one-third, the UN food agency said, launching a new report on Tuesday... More>>

COP26: Enough Of ‘Treating Nature Like A Toilet’ – Guterres Brings Stark Call For Climate Action To Glasgow
As the World Leaders Summit opened on day two of COP26, UN chief António Guterres sent a stark message to the international community. “We are digging our own graves”, he said, referring to the addiction to fossil fuels which threatens to push humanity and the planet, to the brink, through unsustainable global heating... More>>


Climate: ‘Vague’ Net Zero Promises Not Enough: Planet Still On Track For Catastrophic Heating, UN Report Warns

New and updated commitments made ahead of the pivotal climate conference COP26 in the past months are a positive step forward, but the world remains on track for a dangerous global temperature rise of at least 2.7°C this century even if fully met, a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has warned... More>>