So far, it does not include any particular Rusyn organisation, maybe just three members of a preparatory committee under the leadership of the above mentioned policeman from Bratislava Ing. Jan Lipinsky who is also a Deputy of the Association of the Rusyn Intelligentsia in Slovakia and the Deputy of the Rusyn Revival in Slovakia. Maybe it will be these organisations who enter the association with the three actual people so far.
That means there are two associations that were established almost at the same time. One of them – the Slovak Association of Rusyn Organisations – was established in accordance with the rules: the application forms with a copy of the registered statute were distributed to Rusyn civic communities; an appointing member meeting, which was attended by the leaders of the six applicant Rusyn organisations, was organised; the statute of the association was approved; the executive committee and the head of the revision committee were elected, the resolution was approved and consequently, all the documents (mainly, the statute amended according to the comments of the participants of the meeting) were sent to the Slovak Ministry of the Interior to be approved. Originally, the association was to be called the Association of Rusyn Organisations in the Slovak Republic, but after we had seen the abbreviation (ARO in SR, which in Slovak means a hospital department for patients with serious and terminal conditions), the participants of the meeting agreed to change the title to the Association of Rusyn Organisation of Slovakia (AROS). To establish such an association, we were given the authorisation of the head of the World Council of Rusyns and the assembling in associations was included in the resolution of the 7th World Congress of Rusyns, as well as in the resolution from a meeting of the World Council of Rusyns. To our consternation, the Ministry returned the statute of our association citing that an organisation with the same title had already been registered. It apparently ’borrowed’ our original title – the Association of Rusyn Organisations in SR. That is why we had to rename our association the Slovak Association of Rusyn Organisations and also rewrite its statute and have them registered again, which was done at the Slovak Ministry of the Interior on June 12th, 2006.
On the other hand, the association was established out of spite, especially against me personally and my activities which Mr Lipinsky has been opposing for several years. He probably learned I was establishing an association of Rusyn organisations, and hurried to overtake me. According to Slovak legislature, it is easily and promptly done; especially if you live in Bratislava and know the right people. That is how the State Legislator, with two other ‘acquaintances or relatives’, of the other association filled in a form entitled Proposal for Registration; they all signed it as members of the preparatory committee and, together with the statute and a thousand crown fiscal stamp, delivered it to the Slovak Ministry of the Interior in Bratislava for registration. And because he satisfied all legal norms connected to it, his Association of Rusyn Organisations in the Slovak Republic (ARO in SR) was registered on May 19th, 2006. At the end of the statute it is written that it was approved at an appointing meeting on May 10th, 2006 (?!). However, nobody has heard of the meeting – maybe we will read about it on the pages of InfoRusyn?! That means he overtook us, as our appointing meeting (‘unfortunately’) took place on May 13th, 2006 and it was written about in our Narodny Novinky Press and there is also an article on our website in the column entitled Association.
To conclude: Why all this hurrying? First, to annoy me, second, to create a rival association and, to use it to enter the World Congress of Rusyns and the World Council of Rusyns! A fight with no scruples, no moral obstacles, only for Mr Lipinsky to win over ’this’ Zozul’ak and to realise his ambitions of ‘leader coordinator and eminence-grise’ of all the Rusyns in Slovakia and slowly, also, outside its borders!? So far the ‘rival’ Association of Rusyn Organisations in the Slovak Republic is just a community of three members of the preparatory committee, no particular Rusyn organisations, and in its statute only generally stipulates; ‘The Association of Rusyn Organisations in the Slovak Republic assembles actual persons of the Rusyn nationality and Rusyn national-cultural communities and groups’. Every reader can form their own opinion on this matter without any further comment by me. Still, one comment at the end: three years in a row at committee meetings for the Rusyn national minority as an advisory body of the Slovak Ministry of Culture, Jan Lipinsky proposed no money from the State for our two periodicals – Rusyn and Narodny Novinky Press, so that he could eliminate our publications and silence a similar voice which he must listen to or read in our newspaper and our website. But we are still alive and we will also write about such ‘machinations and manipulations’, that have been carried out by Mr Lipinsky.
Head of the Slovak Association of Rusyn Organisations
June 14th 2006
On May 15th, 2006 in Prešov, six leaders of Rusyn organisations met at an appointing meeting, the aim of which was to establish the Slovak Academy of Rusyn Organisations (SARO).
Since 1990, twelve Rusyn organisations have gradually been established – cultural-social, religious, cultural-educational, beneficent and artistic – connected by a common goal: ethnic-cultural revival of Rusyns. The above mentioned are bigger or smaller organisations, the centres of which are mainly located in the north-eastern region of Slovakia, where the majority of Rusyns live and thrive. For such a comparatively low number of Rusyns, there are quite a few organisations; that is why the membership in them overlap. It is quite often the case that the same person is a member of several organisations. The programmes of these organisations are also similar; however, the relationships between their leaders are not the best, which causes uncoordinated event organisation. Recently, we have even witnessed several unfair “fights” among Rusyns for a dominant position. Such a state evokes and deepens mutual intolerance – interpersonal and inter-organisational – which was presented in the most uncultured way by the Rusyns from Slovakia at the 8th World Congress of Rusyns in 2005 in Krynica, Poland. However, similar negatives unfortunately do not only accompany the temporary Rusyn movement in Slovakia. The Rusyns from Sub-Carpathia, Hungary and Lemkos in Poland have undergone some transformations and surely also Rusyns living in other countries face similar problems which can, especially, at world congresses, hardly be ignored. It is indisputable that the strongest linking basis of Rusyns in the given context has since the very beginning been the World Congress of Rusyns (WCR). Every year, more and more new Rusyn organisations all over the world are interested in becoming a member of WCR. That is why the organisation has become a guarantor of assembling Rusyns and to keep this status, it tries not to favour any community but to create conditions for representation of each of them, to participate in their activities, which means every other year to have the right to be elected the delegate at the world congress for their own organisation. With the present number of Rusyn organisations in the world, it is difficult to stay fair.
After the Appointing meeting of the Slovak Association of the Rusyn Organisations, which took place on May 13th, 2006 in Presov; the leaders of the six founding organisations of the association had a picture taken at the memorial to our revivalist, Alexander Dukhnovich where they placed a bouquet of flowers. From left to right: M. Hudak, A. Sedlackova, A. Pliskova, B. Majorosova, M. Malcovska, Father J. Popovec, D. Krisko, A. Zozul’ak, Father F. Krajnak, P. Krajnak, Jr., A. Blichova and G. Beskyd.
The above problem was discussed at the 7th WCR in 2003 in Presov. Then, it concerned the ratio of the Sub-Carpathian and Hungarian Rusyns at the congress. As a consequence, the delegates of the 7th WCR approved a resolution, the 6th point of which confirms the right of every community to have its representatives in the delegation of their country at the congress. This fact requires unification of Rusyn organisations into one single unit – an association where every organisation maintains its own autonomy but is given the right to delegate its representative for the WCR and to participate in solving general Rusyn issues. It can also be assumed that the communities assembled in the association will progress in a co-ordinated way when preparing and realising the projects for which they ask finances from the state.
Slovakia has become the third state (after Ukraine and Hungary) where an association of Rusyn organisations has been established. Its forming was speeded up by the mentioned ’presentation’ of the Slovak delegation formed by members of the Rusyn Revival in Krynica. As we know, the Rusyn Revival in Slovakia, at this congress, lapsed its membership in the WCR. The formation of the association was inevitable to make sure that at the following congresses the Rusyns from Slovakia will use the mandate of a proper member of the WCR and the corresponding member on the World Council of Rusyns. Alexander Zozulak, the Deputy of the World Council of Rusyns from Slovakia, became the coordinator of the association’s project. As he said at the meeting, in the preparatory phase of the association, he addressed all Rusyn organisations officially registered in the Slovak Republic. In the first phase, six of them showed their interest in becoming a member of the association: the Russian Club – 1923, Alexander Dukhnovich’s Rusyn Cultural-Educational Association, the Association of the Rusyn Youth in Slovakia, St. John the Baptist Community, Andy Warhol’s Community and the Civic Community of Rusyn and Ludove Noviny, who became the founders of the association. At the appointing meeting, each community was represented by two delegates – usually its Head and a member of the committee.
In the programme of the appointing meeting of the association it was written: to discuss and approve the proposal of the Statute of the Association and the plan of action until the following member meeting, to elect the executive committee and the revision committee and to approve the Resolution. The meeting was opened and presented by A. Zozulak, the coordinator of the project, who explained why the association was established. He said that among the most essential conditions there are: a need to coordinate activities of Rusyn organisations, the equal right of each organisation to delegate its representative at the WCR, the equal right for state funding of their projects, the equal right for membership in the advisory bodies for the Rusyn culture at the Slovak Ministry of Culture. He also read the proposal of the Statute and every delegate had the right to express their opinion. After some addendum, the Statute was approved by all the delegates and the meeting progressed with planning further action. As most delegates are also active in Rusyn culture and they know its current situation, they could easily agree on the priorities of their cooperation in the Rusyn field: Rusyn educational system and active cultural-educational work. The project entitled The Rusyn National School will characterise the future basic activities of the association, which is mirrored in the approved Statute, in the paragraph Mission and Goals.
At the end of the meeting, the executive committee of the association was appointed, with the participation of each member organisation. At its first meeting, the executive committee unanimously elected Alexander Zozulak the Head of the Association and a candidate for a proper member of the World Council of Rusyns for the Slovak Republic.
SARO was founded with the initiative of the WCR and in the style of WCR: in the same way as the WCR covers all Rusyn organisations in the international context, the aim of SARO is to cover domestic Rusyn organisations – naturally respecting autonomy of each of them. It is positive that six organisations were interested in membership in SARO at the very beginning. They showed goodwill to cooperate in project realisations, respecting priorities of ethnic-cultural and religious life of Rusyns in Slovakia. All delegates agreed that such an association in Slovakia should have been founded earlier, it may have prevented the spats, which, in recent years, seriously destabilised the Rusyn movement in Slovakia.
Anna PLISKOVA, May 17th 2006
of the delegates at the Appointing meeting of the Slovak Association of Rusyn Organisations (SARO) on May 13th 2006 in Presov
The attending delegates of the Rusyn civic communities in the Slovak Republic who handed out a written application form to SARO, unanimously approved the following:
1. The establishment of the Slovak Association of Rusyn Organisations, the constituent parts being:
2. The proposal of the Statute of SARO with relevant comments.
3. The most important priorities in the activity of SARO being – the Rusyn educational system and active cultural-educational work.
4. The Department of Rusyn Language and Culture at the Institute of Regional and National Minority Studies, University of Presov the only academic-pedagogical institution of Rusyns in Slovakia which has the unique right to deal with orthographic changes in the Rusyn language and to propose a person to the post of Rusyn language and literature methodician at the Methodological-Pedagogical Centre in Presov.
5. The enquiry to the Slovak Ministry of Culture about allowing a representative of SARO onto the committee of the Rusyn national minority.
6. To cooperate with other Rusyn organisations in Slovakia and abroad in organising national-cultural events.
7. The Executive Committee of SARO with the following members: Mgr. Alexander Zozulak (Chair), ThLic. Frantisek Krajnak (Deputy), Mgr. Gabriel Beskyd (member), Mgr. Alena Blichova (member), Mgr. Beata Majorosova (member) and PhDr. Maria Malcovska (member).
8. The Revision Committee of SARO with the following members: Ing. Demeter Krisko (Chair), Michal Hudak (member) and Peter Krajnak, Jr. (member).
9. Mgr. Alexander Zozulak – the Head of the Slovak Association of Rusyn Organisations – a proper member of the World Council of Rusyns with the right to vote.
10. The following meeting to take place on December 16th 2006 in Presov
May 13th 2006