Over 100 Szeklerland Settlements Light Watch Fires to Signal Demand for Autonomy

Bonfires were lit in more than a hundred settlements in Szeklerland on Sunday evening to indicated that the indigenous population of the region is demanding territorial autonomy, Zoltan Gazda, president of the Szekler Council of Sepsi (Sepsiszek) and the main organizer of the demonstration, told MTI.

2023. 10. 30. 14:44
Csíkrákos, 2023. október 29. Õrtûz ég Erdélyben, a Csíkrákoshoz tartozó Bogát-hegyen Székelyföld autonómiájának napján, október 29-én. A Székely Nemzeti Tanács (SZNT) 2015-ben nyilvánította a Székelyföld autonómiájának napjává október utolsó vasárnapját, ezen a napon Kárpát-medence-szerte õrtüzeket gyújtanak. MTI/Veres Nándor Fotó: Veres Nándor
Vélemény hírlevélJobban mondva- heti vélemény hírlevél - ahol a hét kiemelt témáihoz füzött személyes gondolatok összeérnek, részletek itt.

At the watch fires lit after dark on the heights of the settlements, local organizers read out the manifesto of the event, which was signed by Szekler National Council (SZNT) President Balazs Izsak, who initiated the bonfire event.

A Székelyföld autonómiájának napja Csíkrákoson (Fotó: MTI/Veres Nándor)
 Autonomy for Szeklerland Day in Csikrakos (Racu, Romania) (Photo: MTI/Nandor Veres)

We confirm our unwavering commitment to achieving autonomy. We reiterate: Territorial autonomy of Szeklerland is essential for peace, security and prosperity and serves as a legal framework guaranteeing full and actual equality for citizens in the region,

the document points out.

According to the manifesto, which was also sent to the Hungarian News Agency (MTI), the SZNT has proved that it can act in the interests of Szeklerland at the European level, despite the obstruction of the authorities, thus opening up an international arena. The document also states an additional aim for the movement to achieve: the creation and operation of a system of Szekler self-organization and the Szekler identity card.

Let this evening be a moment when every member of the community realizes and internalizes as a personal experience the task that we must do together in the future. May all Hungarians realize and personally internalize that the sovereignty of Hungary must be protected and the autonomy of Szeklerland must be won! In this way, two territories will be the bearers of Hungarian national unity: sovereign Hungary and an autonomous Szeklerland, reads the declaration of the Szekler watch fires vigil.

In response to MTI's question asking why the SZNT felt it necessary to speak out for Hungary's sovereignty, Zoltan Gazda said that the Szeklers need the support of the motherland in their struggle for autonomy, so it of key importance that Hungary preserves its freedom, despite the European Union's efforts to limit its room for maneuvre.

Photo by MTI/Nandor Veres

The main organizer said the manifestos read at the vigils will be sent to the embassies in Bucharest, the forums of the European Union, both speakers of the bicameral Parliament in Bucharest, the Romania's prime minister and the head of state, just as the March 10 Szekler Freedom Day manifestos had been sent out.

In response, he said, he expects to receive reactions they have given in the past: some kind of threat, insisting that Romania fully respects the rights of minorities, no response, or a diplomatic reply indicating that the manifesto has been forwarded to the relevant committees.

He added that there is only one Romanian dignitary who has never responded to SZNT's submissions: the president of Romania. "They should be obliged to reply. This is a show of such arrogance and disrespect toward us that it is simply humiliating," said the Szekler National Council official.

SZNT, which was re-established twenty years ago and founded more than a century ago, declared back in 2015, the last Sunday in October to be the Day of Autonomy for Szeklerland, when churches pray together for the autonomy of Szeklerland and in the evening light bonfires to make the region's demands for self-determination visible.

Cover photo: a watch fire burns in Transylvania on Bogat Hill in Racu (Csikrakos) on Autonomy for Szeklerland Day on October 29. The Szekler National Council (SZNT) in 2015, declared the last Sunday in October as the Day of Autonomy for Szeklerland, a day on which bonfires are lit across the Carpathian Basin. (Photo: MTI/Nandor Veres)


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