laupäev, aprill 28, 2007

New Policy for Itching for Eestimaa

I am a human being from the United States. Some of my greatest heroes are the men and women of the US that fought so hard against authority for the right to say what was on their mind. These ideals go back to very founding of the city that has harbored most of my family members, New Amsterdam, presently New York, which was founded on Dutch virtues of tolerance.

At the same time, I am deeply connected with Estonian society through family, and, as the 'editor' of this blog, I cannot permit comments to be posted that are racist in nature against Estonians or other nationalities. As much as I hate doing this, I will remove any comments that call for violence against the citizens of this country, or their total extermination, as nationalists of other countries tend to say while getting themselves hard on the Internet. This blog's role is to further discussion, not to further hate speech.

I am disappointed that it has come to this, but I think it is ultimately the best choice at this time. And it's a great excuse to take myself too seriously ;-)

146 kommentaari:

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Who is blogging? Mainly male and young. It's a wonder that is has lastet without hate speech that long.

Giustino ütles ...

They have basically two modes of attack, either linked to Nazism or Stalinism.

Attack mode 1: Estonia is "shit". A "shitty little country". It's people are "shit", it doesn't "deserve to exist."

That one sounds like a borrowing from anti-semitism, ie. the Jews are "shit", they don't deserve to exist. It helps lay the platform for real violence and genocide and it's ugly.

I won't tolerate it here.

Attack #2: The Estonians are "fascists" or "Nazis". This is Stalinism. Who even knows what fascism means here?

Fascism describes the regime of Benito Mussolini - a fusion of a police state with corporatism -- sort of like Russia today where the president is from the KGB and the country's most powerful company, Gazprom, is state-owned.

The labeling of Ansip -- who was democratically elected and has acted within the scope of the law --- is false. It is based on post-war efforts by the USSR to "break down" Estonian nationality by deportations, outright murder in some cases, and building an image of them as inferior.

Again, violence against them is justified because they are "fascists" -- no matter what that term really means.

Both are the vehicles of extremism. You can call Ansip scum, you can call rioters criminals, but whole peoples are not to be "fed to Russia" by weaklings on the Internet.

They are not welcome here. They can go spout their filth on Delfi or some other such place.

Kristopher ütles ...

If there is an itch, one must make an occasional scratch. Reasonable enough.

I just hope I can still call corporate America and the occupation of Iraq "fascist".

Giustino ütles ...

I just hope I can still call corporate America and the occupation of Iraq "fascist".

You can describe authorities however you like. But if you call for exterminating human beings -- or sound like you do -- based on your percieved ideals of who should get to exist and who shouldn't, then no, none of that from here on out.

Kaur ütles ...

I am Estonian and I totally support this type of censorship. I am tired of reading all those racist posts in different forums which say that all Russians are criminals and they should be sent back Russia. The first part is certainly not true and the second part is impossible.

stockholm slender ütles ...

Well, those kinds of atavistic estophobe comments are truly fascist - what is strange is that you still have people in the year 2007 of our Lord so inadequate, so empty that they have to embellish their fragile egos with primitive national hatreds and most awful, blatant lies. This sort of "censorship" is welcome liberal-democratic self-defence. The line might be fine but it is quite clear also.

space_maze ütles ...

BIG thanks to you for this decision. I was truely worried about losing the one place in the internet to which I can come for *reasonable* discussions of all things Estonia-related, to the usual supremacist nonsense.

I would find the "Estonians = fascists" thing .. quite amusing, though, really, if the context wasn't so grim. From wikipedia ..

"The term fascismo was first coined by the Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. It is derived from the Italian word fascio, which means "union" or "league", and from the Latin word fasces. The fasces, which consisted of a bundle of rods tied around an axe, were an ancient Roman symbol of the authority of the civic magistrates, and the symbolism of the fasces suggested strength through unity: a single rod is easily broken, while the bundle is very difficult to break."

Does that in ANY way sound like the Estonia that we know? The "Eestlase parim söök on teine eestlane." Estonia?

Andres Sehr ütles ...

Good move Justin.

This issue gets the blood boiling in a lot of people but we need to stay level headed.

BTW - Have you heard from anyone back in the USA about this? It's been in the papers and on the radio here in Canada and the BBC picked it up but aside from newspapers articles I wonder if anyone is watching?

Evil Purc ütles ...

Giustino has Italian roots and he lives in Estonia...I guess he might be conceived by the Russians as the epitome of a "fascist". =)

Giustino ütles ...

BTW - Have you heard from anyone back in the USA about this? It's been in the papers and on the radio here in Canada and the BBC picked it up but aside from newspapers articles I wonder if anyone is watching?

Three friends have contacted to me to see what is up. I informed them that it's your regular street protest turns violent (see Paris).

I also informed that I live 100 miles from Tallinn, so yes, we are safe here in Tartu.

I'm glad though because every news story tells the story of what happened to Estonia. Knowledge is wider spread than it used to be.

Eleonora ütles ...

The events in Tallinn have been picked up by the Australian print and electronic media, however, just the events without any analysis.

Agu-Enrik Ubailves ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Martasmimi ütles ...

Giustino said...
BTW - Have you heard from anyone back in the USA about this? It's been in the papers and on the radio here in Canada and the BBC picked it up but aside from newspapers articles I wonder if anyone is watching?

JUSTIN:
I sent you the AP clip (from Pam).
It's been covered on CNN and
I noticed it on the crawl of
New 12 ..
"as local as local news gets"
(their lead line)
I didn't catch their segment
on it.

Pablo mira al mundo ütles ...

All my support from Spain as a man who has recently discovered Estonia and is concerned with Russia´s derive into not-so-old costumes.
Here, there´s been some erratic coverage ;)

space_maze ütles ...

There's been all over Europe .. and with the exception of the tool Gerhard Schröder, whom I am so happy to be rid of, even as a "lefty", most of Europe just can't get behind Russia here - which is quite pleasant to know that also the Soviet Union's former "allies" just can't get behind this.

If Estonia was really fascist, I'd think Great Brittain, France and the Netherlands would be a bit worried too.

Giustino ütles ...

All my support from Spain as a man who has recently discovered Estonia and is concerned with Russia´s derive into not-so-old costumes. Here, there´s been some erratic coverage ;)

Pablo, I understand that there is also some leftover baggage from the Spanish Civil War.

I guess this might be easier for Spaniards to understand than thought.

Pablo mira al mundo ütles ...

Leaving distances aside, your comment just made me imagine how would it feel living in a much smaller country, having had this recent past of beaten identity and occupation and such threatening neighbour with a somehow inhibited Europe as ally.
Then, this inner conflict with such a high percentage of the population... and foreign influence.
Aye, fanaticism can still be smelled here from time to time, always the same smell. I´ll remain watching. Here´s my hand.

Scott ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Scott ütles ...

Did you wash it, first?

Puu ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Vova ütles ...

Guistino, regarding your "new" policy, to wit, "I will remove any comments that call for violence against the citizens of this country," there's nothing new. Vene Delfi banned me when I lived in Eestimaa and set up a spam filter because I was defending the citizens against subhuman illegal occupation leftovers--rioters as we know them now.
Наблюдатель

J ütles ...

Hi

RE: Amnesty International Report On Estonia's Discrimatory Policies.

As a Londoner I meet many Estonians here and they are wonderful people from a beautiful country.

Pictures of the terrible riotwere braodcast all over the world - Peaple have begun to ask waht caused these riots.

While they see the estonian Speaking Populations Point of View - they also see what the Russians most of whom were born in Estonia feel, many have read this report.

I just love you Estonians, and i hope your beautiful country will be able to resolve its problems peacefully



AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PRESS RELEASE


Estonia: Language police gets more powers to harass

Estonia must curb the discriminatory powers of the country’s language proficiency watchdog, Amnesty International said. In a letter to Estonia’s Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, the organization’s Secretary General Irene Khan today called the government’s Language Inspectorate "repressive and punitive in nature" and "counter-productive in promoting social integration and social cohesion."


The Inspectorate was established in 1998 under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education. It monitors Estonian language proficiency of the employed population, issuing certificates and determining the minimum fluency levels required by law. To this end, the Inspectorate carries out both announced and unannounced monitoring, including visits to work places.


Irene Khan’s letter is in response to the amendments of the Law on Language, introduced earlier this month and taking effect on 1 March this year which extend the powers of the Language Inspectorate to recommending dismissals of employees for insufficient Estonian language skills, making people who already have a language certificate re-sit a language exam and nullifying the language certificates of those who fail a re-sit of their language exam.


"These amendments mean that people belonging to linguistic minorities will be in an even more vulnerable position on the labour market," Irene Khan said in her letter.


Estonia has a sizeable linguistic, predominantly Russian-speaking, minority which constitutes roughly a third of the population. Estonia’s stringent language requirements for employment, which have come under criticism from the United Nations and the Council of Europe as well as representatives of civil society, mean that linguistic minorities find themselves disadvantaged on the labour market and are disproportionately affected by unemployment.


Amnesty International has repeatedly highlighted to the Estonian authorities the fact that many persons belonging to linguistic minorities are afraid of and feel harassed by the Language Inspectorate, and that the repressive and punitive nature of the Language Inspectorate prevents the realization of human rights for all in Estonia.

A resident of Tallinn recently e-mailed Amnesty International:


"I used to work as a taxi driver but lost my job thanks to the Language Inspectorate. They call you to the transport commission for the slightest infraction of the high way code where the ladies from the Language Inspectorate are waiting for you. Everything is well planned. They call only the Russian speakers. They can sack you not because you are a bad worker, not because passengers have been complaining but because you don't know Estonian well. I have three children, a mortgage and an alcoholic husband but nobody cares. I have to pay for language courses and they are not cheap -- two or three monthly salaries. I don't have a job and I cannot pay for the Estonian language courses. How am I going to live? Isn't this discrimination?"

Amnesty International urges the Estonian government to re-consider the latest amendments to the Law on Language and consider more constructive approaches to linguistic integration, such as free or fully reimbursable Estonian language classes for all, rather than the repressive, punitive, and ultimately alienating measures used by the Language Inspectorate

Kristjan ütles ...

Yes. But since Amnesty International doesn't have much credibility anymore is writing the Kremlin line, no one cares.

The Language Law will not change, and there are very good reasons for it. Let's not drag another contentious issue onto the table right now. ;-)

Kristjan ütles ...

* "and is writing the Kremlin line"

Giustino ütles ...

The language situation in this country LEADS to the division in Estonian society which is reflected in these recent events.

If you don't speak Russian, you sometimes wind up completely unable to interact with some local Russians.

I mean I am actually intimidated of these situations where there are Russian speakers present because I don't know what language to use.

If my daughter is present and there are Russian kids nearby, what language do they speak to one another? What language do I speak to their parents? Do I dare speak Estonian to them? Does that insult them somehow? And that's the thing -- everybody is SO touchy so it's best not to offend the Russian speakers because they could get mad (see this week).

So we wind up ignoring each other. And the relationship goes nowhere. I mean I've been to a spa where half the people in the hot tub speak one language and the other half speak another, and there's NO interaction.

How do you solve that problem? Estonians are the majority. You aren't going to teach them all Russian. So the logical response is to teach the minority Estonian. The question of *how* to do that is what is so controversial.

Kristjan ütles ...

I think that language tuition is actually one of the few integration agendas that has worked quite well. Compared to 1991, the progress is huge.

The main issue is attitude, I think. Russians traditionally think they are better, their language is more important, their history is more significant - because there are more of them.

Well, guess what? That's not the case in Estonia. When they start thinking individually (i.e. without the help of Mother Russia), and realizing that they are an ethnic minority in the Republic of Estonia, and not part of some great Russian world that is superior to the tiny Estonian world - then there can be progress.

I'm not blaming anyone. In matters of integration, Russians shouldn't be blamed more than Estonians. I'm just saying that an attitude adjustment is called for, and it would be very helpful if it happened rather fast, now.

But why would it? Well, for a start, every Russian on Estonian soil should now understand quite clearly that the Estonian Republic exists, is rather strong, and decisive, and should not be mocked.

They should realize that Estonians are inclined to categorize them as "scum" when they treat Estonians and the Estonian Republic with contempt.

They should also realize that we are not the evil Nazis that the Russian Federation portrays us as.

Let's see if that brings about the required attitude adjustment!

Man who contemplates world ütles ...

Ah! Why take yourself seriously, when I have proven that we can't take THEM seriously?
Red Army Blues

Kristjan ütles ...

We can take them seriously. ;-) Once they wake up from the haze, and make the attitude adjustment.

J ütles ...

Dear Estonians

As an Intelligent and highly civilised race of people could you please address these issues.

In view that the Russians speaking born Estonians are 35% of Your country (why should they leave if they were born in Estonia) These sons of the soil who speak Russia are there to stay.


But please let me know how youn can ever have a United Nation and a strong, peaceful and progressivecountry when the following is felt by huge numbers of Estonians.

"Estonia’s stringent language requirements for employment, which have come under criticism from the United Nations and the Council of Europe as well as representatives of civil society, mean that linguistic minorities find themselves disadvantaged on the labour market and are disproportionately affected by unemployment.


More than a quater of your poulation feel repressed is it wise to live in a House divided.

With the New rule no Russian Speaking Estonian Born Person job is safe - An employer can dismiss any Russian pretending he does not know the language.

According to resident of Tallinn

"I used to work as a taxi driver but lost my job thanks to the Language Inspectorate. They call you to the transport commission for the slightest infraction of the high way code where the ladies from the Language Inspectorate are waiting for you. Everything is well planned. They call only the Russian speakers. They can sack you not because you are a bad worker, not because passengers have been complaining but because you don't know Estonian well. I have three children, a mortgage and an alcoholic husband but nobody cares. I have to pay for language courses and they are not cheap -- two or three monthly salaries. I don't have a job and I cannot pay for the Estonian language courses. How am I going to live? Isn't this discrimination?"

======================

Dear Estonians it is not only Amenesty International but The European council, The united Nationas and many respected EEC and American Human rights groups, who say you follow a very repressive policy against a huge number of your fellow countrymen.

There are many hundreds of Non Estonians who read these pages who now try and figure out whats happening.

Please explain the situation to us in vive that your policies have been discribed as undemocratic and repressive by respected Institutions all over the world.

Thank you - will appreciated intelligent replies to my question.

Kristjan ütles ...

Just cut the crap. ;-)

Moria ütles ...

Kristjan I do not think J comments are crap, I am a European not a Russian Speaker or an Estonian speaker – But I feel for your small and vulnerable country and its great people. I feel so strongly that I have decided to post this.

I agree whole heartedly with J in the above post – He seems to be the only sensible poster here.

The owner of this Blog describes himself as a Journalist but he does not seem to understand what equality and democracy mean.

I understand that Estonians take great pride in their language and culture, quite rightly so there is no objection to that. But its never can be Estonians for the Estonian speaking People. Because yours is not a homogenous population.

That reality on the ground that there are a huge number of sons of Estonia (and they have every right to be called that since most of them were born in Estonia) follow a different Language (Russian) and culture. The fact that your huge neighbor Russia also has a similar culture is just bye the way.

Estonian born people are not Russian citizens but Estonians (Whatever your racist citizenship laws may say regarding language tests) it is wrong and undemocratic by any human rights standard to disfranchise any of them or impose the culture, or language of another group of Estonians on them in particular if they were born in Estonia.

The Russian speaking Estonians are huge in numbers there represent 35% of your country. They have a powerful neighbor Russia very close at hand who is sympathetic to their cause.

Estonia is a very small country. Think about it if this thing is not nipped in the bud, it will grow worse and worse. I hate to see it happened as you are all very nice people.

You must forget about your nationalist dreams of one culture, one language one race , because you can never have them. Maybe is this unfortunate for you. But that is the reality

35% of your population of a different culture and language – this is a huge minority – I do not think its even right to say minority. Its nearly half your population.

When communal and sectarian hatred is sown its very difficult to extinguish. It’s a monster that feeds on itself and destroys a nation and splits lands and people apart.

So my advice is forget about these laws, maybe have two languages. Treat the minorities even better then yourself. In China all minorities’ even very large ones get special privileges. In order to make everyone feel Chinese. Celebrate your culture at home. Celebrate your neighbors culture too,

Forget about the past, terrible things happened but now look to a happy and United future

Remember millions of Russians speakers died under Stalin too

If the Russians speaking Estonians do not identify with the aspirations of the slightly larger majority. Then you must work to make them happy.

The Russian speaking Estonians will then love the Estonian speaking Estonians and will not identify with Russia.

You must make them feel included in the great country Estonia

Otherwise it will get worse believe me

Good luck & God Bless you all

Kaur ütles ...

J, Giustino has recently written about this Amnesty International report you are talking about and there was a heavy discussion, look the archives or search Google.com using the following keywords: amnesty international site:palun.blogspot.com

Kristjan ütles ...

You don't know what you're talking about, so: cut the crap. ;-)

Kristjan ütles ...

That was obviously intended at Moria. :-)

Kristopher ütles ...

Moria and J: They're coming out with a new variety of 16 oz Dr. Bronner's soap. You might consider applying for a copywriter positions. You don't have to be bitter about losing your cab driver medallions and hang out on foreign blogs.

Speaking of taxi drivers, though, a kind of related story: the Swedish TV crew I was guiding today picked me up this morning at my house. The phone was handed to the driver so I could tell him the name of my street rather than have the Swedes try saying it. I said Süda. The driver said "Kuda?" I said "Süda" again. He said "Syuda, syuda. A kuda?" This Abbott and Costello routine went on for a few more rounds, finally my Russian reasserted itself and I gave him points of reference. About half an hour later he called from Säde street somewhere probably halfway to Keila. So in this case, lack of any language ability (including even Russian, apparently) earned him probably about 150 extra kroons.

jaffa ütles ...

I disagre with Kristjan and I too am posting here for the first time. I like the Estonians.
However Please read the posts of J and Moria which I think of as admirable Gustino I think you are a Nutter, and I cannot believe you are a journalist.
Gustiono you say the Russian speakers make you feel uncomfortable. Think of how uncomfortable they might be with you. And if you feel uncomfortable then learn to speak Russian. They are Estonians too and have every right to speak their own language. Read Morias post please. Estonia is not only for Estonian speakers, but 100% for the Russian speaking Estonians too. And they do not have to speak your language. Just as they cannot force you to speak theirs.

You cannot have one culture your population make up says that this is impossible. Forget your nationalistic dreams. There is no such thing as Estonian Speaking Estonia. This went out when 35% your population started speaking another language.

This would be true if you were 100% of one language and culture, BUT you are not A bit less then half of your population is from another language and culture.

It is a very silly policy to be a nationalist in this situation. It will lead to a break up of your country.

How can you impose your will on 35% of unwilling Estonians.

Do you think they will follow you peacefully.

Kaur ütles ...

Where are you all taking this 35%? According to www.stat.ee there are 350 000 ethnic russians in estonia, which is less than 26% and certainly some of them speak estonian, so this "almost an half" is probably about 15-20% (couldn't find exact numbers anywhere).

jana de bruxelles ütles ...

From personal experience: I'm a native Russian speaker who was born in 1978 in Estonia to parents of Russian origin and has never had a different kodumaa. I'm very well integrated and speak fantastic Estonian (and 4 other European languages, for that matter), despite having left Estonia in 2001.
It is true that a lot of Russian Estonians are often arrogant and defensive when it comes to integration matters. I don't justify that. However, one must understand that if you hear over and over and over again: "Tiblad, Eestist välja!", that ain't helping your intergration either. When you don't feel welcome, you don't feel like integrating. Instead, one's natural reaction would be rejection and distrust.

People that do try to integrate, do so having swallowed their pride and understood the crude reality of being taking for an outsider in their only kodumaa (i.e no language - no passport - no access to education; in my case it was British Council scholarship, which i wouldn't have obtained if i hadn't bothered myself Estonian citizenship - no future). Tricky, huh?

Kristjan ütles ...

I disagre with Kristjan and I too am posting here for the first time. I like the Estonians.
However Please read the posts of J and Moria which I think of as admirable Gustino I think you are a Nutter, and I cannot believe you are a journalist.



Oh, great. Another crapper.

If only I didn't have anything better to do than spend hours and hours trying to convince people, who are convinced that the world is flat, that it's round.

But I do. ;-)

Jafar ütles ...

I am too am very impressed with Morias and J's post. I too post here for the first time and I live in Haifa Isreal. The majority community in Estonia, Please be inclusive in your policies and respect the minorities. Give them more then you give yourselves. This is the only way Estonia can survive. Belive me I am from Isreal.

Kristopher ütles ...

"I agree with Moria, J and Jaffa, though about what I do not know. Since Being let go from the cab company and fired from my position as a copywriter for Dr. Bronner Soap I have moved in with them. We are also sharing a blogger profile because we cannot figure out how to create additional ones. At nights we play a game where we spin a Globe and find a country then make strange writings to the Citizens on blogs as if they are aliens in a house devided."

Am I close?

Kristjan ütles ...

People that do try to integrate, do so having swallowed their pride and understood the crude reality of being taking for an outsider in their only kodumaa.


Oh no, the pride! It's not our fault that God didn't put you in Russia, or make you Estonian.

Hence, it's not our fault you had to swallow your pride and learn such a lowly, pathetic language. ;-)

Jafar ütles ...

Dear Kristjan
But why should 35% of your population be forced to or even if they know it speak your languahe - Dear Boy please read Moria and Js post. We try and learn from you too. but all you say is crap.

Kristjan ütles ...

Read my post at 1:43 PM.

And then follow the instructions Kaur gave, if you're really interested.

Kaur ütles ...

Thank you, Jana, for a constructive and interesting post. It's a quite complicated situation. On one hand, Russian don't want to learn estonian because some Estonian hate them and yell "Tiblad välja". On the other hand, the same Estonian do not like Russians because they don't learn the language.

Eppppp ütles ...

I think Moira`s point of view is neutral and realistic.

I see two dominant value systems in my generation (young Estonians AND young Russians in Estonia).
a) Either you value nationalism above all.
b) Or you are a cosmopolitan - , maybe because you have lived somewhere else and seen the world outside of your nation. Or you have read a lot of foreign newspapers, watched TV etc, briefly, washed your brain with something else than only domestic media. And you just dont care that much about the historical revenge or the purity of blood etc.

Im the type b. Cant help. I know that once upon a time my greatgrandma was raped by Russian soldiers... but still I think Russian youth in Estonia should get at least 50% of their education in Russian if they want. (As I have heard, the coming school reform has caused a lot of tension in teachers and in students.)

I would vote for peace and compromises.

...Giustino is a bigger Estonian nationalist than I am. And I dont want to fight with anyone at this point. It just seems to me that this "type b" exists and quite a lot. In both communities. And this gives hope.

space_maze ütles ...

Estonian born people are not Russian citizens but Estonians (Whatever your racist citizenship laws may say regarding language tests) it is wrong and undemocratic by any human rights standard to disfranchise any of them or impose the culture, or language of another group of Estonians on them in particular if they were born in Estonia.

I was born in Austria as the son of two American citizens. I did not automatically get Austrian citizenship, for the simple reason that my parents did not have it.

Was this racist? I guess one could call it that. I don't, however, because much like the modern Estonian state, the Austrian state gave me the chance to naturalise every single day.

Whom should I blame for not having Austrian citizenship? (that I only lack it due to not having applied for it due to not wanting it is beside the point ;-) ) The Austrian state, or my parents for not naturalizing? I'd go for the latter, if I wanted to blame someone.

Of course, people could say that Austrian citizenship laws are racist, if they allow something like this. They are, however, quite standard in Europe, as the Estonian citizenship laws are. You've got to address Europe as a whole with this, and not Estonia.

As Estonia as a state NEVER deprived any of its citizens of their citizenship - ALL descendants of the pre-war population of Estonia were given Estonian citizenship instantly in 1991.

It just required immigrants, and their descendants, to naturalize - much like any other European country does.

One requirement for this is some basic grasp of the local language. Same as in any other European country.

The Russian speaking Estonians are huge in numbers there represent 35% of your country.

Yes, they made up 35% in 1991. In 1940, in the same area, they made up 3%. How one can expect this kind of manipulation of the demographics of a country in such a short time period to not cause problems is beyond me.

There is no movement in Germany to make Turkish the official language of Germany. There is no movement in the UK to make Urdu the official language of the UK. There is no movement in Denmark to make Arabic the official language of Denmark. There is no movement to make Estonian the official language of Finland. There is no movement to make Bosnian the official language of Austria. And none of these proposals would make any sense to anyone here, as you just *don't* emigrate to a foreign country without planning to adapt to the local language, by "European standards". Asking Estonia to adapt Russian as an official language due to large numbers of immigrants, that came without the consent of the internationally recognised government of the state (the Oslo exile government) is a huge double-standard.

They have a powerful neighbor Russia very close at hand who is sympathetic to their cause.

Which is completely irrelevant to this issue - or rather, it should be. as a sovereign nation, Estonia must adjust its laws and actions to international law and to any communities it wants to be part of - the EU and NATO. It does not have to adjust its ways and laws to the temper tantrums of its neighbours.

You must forget about your nationalist dreams of one culture, one language one race , because you can never have them. Maybe is this unfortunate for you. But that is the reality

This is just simply NOT TRUE. Estonians are NOT offended by the presence of other languages in Estonia. There is only ONE LAW in Estonia that in any way restricts the usage of foreign languages in Estonia - the law regulating traffic signs. These must, by law, be Estonian.

If people were protesting against the regulation of Estonian traffic signs, okay, there might be a point. Alas, they aren't.

Being offended by foreign languages is completely anti-Estonian. In fact, integration is made quite difficult for foreigners BECAUSE Estonians are *too tolerant* with foreign languages, and too willing to adapt to you, to make you "feel better".

If a Russian starts speaking to an Estonian in Estonian, the Estonian will in 90% of the cases respond in Russian, to make life easier for the Russian. Which of course makes it harder for Russians to learn Estonian.

I have never been to an Estonian flat that did not include a great deal of Russian books, Russian DVDs, Russian music, or whatnot.

I have never met an Estonian that isn't a huge fan of Nu Pogodi.

I have never met an Estonian that could not speak Russian, to some degree.

The thought that Estonians want to "cleanse" the nation of Russian influences can only be based on lack of knowledge about Estonia.

What Estonians DO want is to have their language acknowledged as a "real language", not as something they can "use between themselves if they really want", as it was in the days of the Soviet Union.

If you believe this is too much to ask, I would advise trying to strike a conversation with a German in Turkish, or with a Brit in Urdu, or .. or .. or ..

And to compare the reaction with the reaction Estonians give when one speaks Russian to them (which is to reply in Russian).

So as a whole .. I'm afraid kristjan is right. You really don't know the situation you are talking about here.

Kristjan ütles ...

but still I think Russian youth in Estonia should get at least 50% of their education in Russian if they want. (As I have heard, the coming school reform has caused a lot of tension in teachers and in students.)


Aren't they talking about adding 1-2 subjects to the Russian curriculum to be taught in Estonian - in gümnaasium?

Kristjan ütles ...

They have a powerful neighbor Russia very close at hand who is sympathetic to their cause.

Which is completely irrelevant to this issue - or rather, it should be.



Trust me, it really is, as well. :-)

jana de bruxelles ütles ...

Tztztz - we're all only humans, Kristjan. By 'pride' i don't necessarily mean something that you can put your finger on - it's often the result of the 'Godzilla' complex (= size does matter) that a number (oh well, a lot) of Russians still have. I repeat, I don't justify this as an excuse for not trying to integrate.
However, a bit of understanding and support wouldn't hurt.

Methinks the biggest barrier is created by attitudes, such as can be found in your post, Kristjan: you versus us ('WE are not to blame that YOU were not born in Russia...). We are NOT different species, for pete's sake! If people looked beyond labels (i.e Rrrrrrrussian sounding names and incorrect use of osastav/omastav - same goes for those silly Russians with their 'hot Estonian guys' jokes), we'd maybe get somewhere.

space_maze ütles ...

However, one must understand that if you hear over and over and over again: "Tiblad, Eestist välja!", that ain't helping your intergration either. When you don't feel welcome, you don't feel like integrating. Instead, one's natural reaction would be rejection and distrust.

Which really adds to my belief that Estonia is just another European country ;-) .. that kind of crap is destructive, and will make make integration so very much harder.

However .. it's so European.

I can't count how many times I've heard chants of "Ausländer Raus!" here in Austria - foreigners, go home.

In the UK, it's "Pakis go home" or whatnot.

A wisdom I recently learned was that the percentage of assholes in a population is a universial constant, and it really is true.

All one can do about this stuff is to do what I do - to ignore it, and to learn to appreciate how many people don't think this way.

People that do try to integrate, do so having swallowed their pride and understood the crude reality of being taking for an outsider in their only kodumaa (i.e no language - no passport - no access to education; in my case it was British Council scholarship, which i wouldn't have obtained if i hadn't bothered myself Estonian citizenship - no future). Tricky, huh?

Which is again "European" - I'd be in the very same situation if I ever wanted to take a public office in Austria. My German is absolutely flawless, there is no way anyone could ever place me as a foreigner. I was born in Vienna, and I have, in my heart, no other homeland. Yet, I would have to apply for Austrian citizenship nevertheless.

....

Of course, Estonia being "European" does not make its actions more or less right. But my point is only that the "discrimination" in Estonia is hardly something unusual. It's just the way things are handled on this continent, and it makes no sense to pick out Estonia here just because the numbers are larger here.

Jafar ütles ...

I have read space_maze post carefully as well as that of the much mentioned J and Moria.
space_maze Austria is an exception why did you not mention Britain, France US and 95% of all other countries. Estonia's laws mean that you and your parents can be over 60 years in the country and still have to do a test of a strange languge spken by a a not so big majority.
Amenesty, The United nations, The council for europe, The UK Parliment and many non government human rights groups have condemmend Estonia for its recon. If the UN says something is wrong it has more credibility then your right wing politicans and their darconian laws which may split the country.
Any in your long post you have not offered any solutions that would work with 35% of the Estonian population.
At least J' amd Morias long post offred very good not sectarian solutions that in the long run would be good for the people of Estonia.

Kristjan ütles ...

However, a bit of understanding and support wouldn't hurt.

No. In the light of the current situation in Estonia, what is needed is an absolute and immediate crushing of the Godzilla complex.


Methinks the biggest barrier is created by attitudes, such as can be found in your post, Kristjan: you versus us ('WE are not to blame that YOU were not born in Russia...). We are NOT different species, for pete's sake!

We don't have a problem with the Language Law, you do. Your attitude doesn't get any sympathy from us, because it doesn't deserve it.

;-)

space_maze ütles ...

Aren't they talking about adding 1-2 subjects to the Russian curriculum to be taught in Estonian - in gümnaasium?

I don't know about this, but I do think that a certain percentage of Estonian education is essential as long as higher education is predominantly Estonian. Making sure Russians are truely able to handle Estonian is, under these circumstances, more in their interest than in anyone else's - you won't reduce the social divide by making it harder for Russians to go to university.

So in my eyes, it's the RUSSIAN activists that should be fighting for a high (~50%) percentage of Estonian education, unless they can find a way to finance Russian-speaking universities.

Kristjan ütles ...

Estonia's laws mean that you and your parents can be over 60 years in the country and still have to do a test of a strange languge spken by a a not so big majority.


Yes. And if the illegal occupation and the systematic Russification had lasted 1000 years, it would be 1000 years. ;-)

Kristjan ütles ...

But the bottom line is - why the hell are we talking about this now?!

"Estonians Nazis crushing innocent Russians - and the Language Law proves it!"

?

space_maze ütles ...

Estonia's laws mean that you and your parents can be over 60 years in the country and still have to do a test of a strange languge spken by a a not so big majority.

This is exactly the kind of attitude which lead to the harsh laws Estonia imposed in 1991 - the thought that Estonia is a "strange language" that "so few people speak" .. and that it thus doesn't count, or something.

Well guess what .. Estonian is only spoken by so few people BECAUSE it was considered a "strange language, that noone speaks anyways".

That kind of thinking just isn't acceptable to Estonians, and quite justifyably so.


Amenesty, The United nations, The council for europe, The UK Parliment and many non government human rights groups have condemmend Estonia for its recon.


Firstly, I would like to have confirmations of all of these, as most of these I have never heard of - and I have followed what the council of Europe has to say about Estonia. The only human rights violation found in Estonia in the report a few years ago was the horrible condition in prisons, which were not considered worthy of human beings. Fortunately, this issue has been resolved since with new prisons.

If the laws had not been accepted internationally, Estonia would never have been let into the EU.


If the UN says something is wrong it has more credibility then your right wing politicans and their darconian laws which may split the country.

I support the Social Democrat, actually.

Any in your long post you have not offered any solutions that would work with 35% of the Estonian population.

I have offered no solutions as I have none. Attitudes need to change for integration to work in Estonia, and I cannot see this happening through anything but .. time, and people - Estonians AND Russians - getting over their pride.

The 35% figure is nonsense though. Approximately 9% of the residents of Estonia do not have Estonian citizenship.

jaffa ütles ...

space_maze do not speak in half truths. We are not all fools here. We are all trying to be constructive so that Estonia can survive and not slide into a Balkan like war.
It is NOT similar to the Austrian situation and I disagree with you – The Very Estonians Sons of the Soil but Russian speaking are a little less than half. These Chaps have to do a nasty little test that is made very difficult to get citizenship.

But who said Estonia is for Estonian speakers. There is no such thing 35% are Russian speakers. Just because a not so large majority (as I think J mentioned) speak an obscure little language (Estonian)they do not have a right to impose this on others. It may be very important to Estonian speakers this language but is it not a matter for them.
When Estonia got its Independence it was for everybody who lived there.
Please read Js and Moria’s posts again
And please come up with a solution that will be acceptable to all Estonians, so that this wonderful little country can prosper and meet its destiny.

Kristjan ütles ...

space_maze do not speak in half truths. We are not all fools here. We are all trying to be constructive so that Estonia can survive and not slide into a Balkan like war.


Look, you fucking idiot! The disturbance of peace is over. So go take your provocative shit elsewhere!

space_maze ütles ...

Yes. And if the illegal occupation and the systematic Russification had lasted 1000 years, it would be 1000 years. ;-)

I know you're being sarcastic, but I still would like to not agree here .. I think it's silly to talk about giving England back to the Celts, all of America back to the Indians and the such, as these cultures have just been destroyed beyond repair - it's just damage that cannot be undone.

As an American, I'm deeply ashamed of what my ancestors did to the natives of its area, and I very strongly support any attempts to help them out of their miserable situation. Unfortunately, there just aren't enough Indians left to give the country back to them. Their culture, their languages, their nations, they've all been destroyed.

Estonia, however, managed to put a halt to colonialisation before its people got to this stage. To expect them to not fight back, when they're still very much alive, as a people, just seems silly to me.

jaffa ütles ...

Well guess what .. Estonian is only spoken by so few people BECAUSE it was considered a "strange language, that noone speaks anyways".

That kind of thinking just isn't acceptable to Estonians, and quite justifyably so.


Who said that Estonia was just for the Estonian Speaking people. Its for all its citizens and all its cultures. estonians are russian speaking too (and in very latge numbers) why should they learn this strange languge. Russian speakers can say "Hey you chaps, learn ours"
What I am worried about if there is abig disagreement what happens.
Any sensible comments

Kristjan ütles ...
Blogi administraator eemaldas selle kommentaari.
jaffa ütles ...

space_maze do not speak in half truths. We are not all fools here. We are all trying to be constructive so that Estonia can survive and not slide into a Balkan like war.


Look, you fucking idiot! The disturbance of peace is over. So go take your provocative shit elsewhere!


There is another blog dominated by Russian speaking Estonians. they are discussing a Balkan like situation if things get worse.
The BBC world service also discussed how quickly situations like this can become ethnic conflicts. Moria & Js also have discussed this in the above posts.
So wake up guys! Calling peo9ple a fucking idiots just means you cannot face the truth, funny how people who are bankrupt with their ideas resort to abuse.

Kristjan ütles ...

And funny how provocators will never stop until they fuck it up, or are told to go fuck themselves! ;-)

space_maze ütles ...

It is NOT similar to the Austrian situation

Why not?

If anything, I'd say that the Austrian situation is MORE cruel, as my parents actually came here as legal immigrants.

These Chaps have to do a nasty little test that is made very difficult to get citizenship.

I do not know the tests. So I am perfectly willing to admit that they might be to hard. *MAYBE*. I really would be interested in seeing them, to be able to judge this myself.

I refuse to accept though that the *existence* of these tests does not comply to European norms. Try applying for a French citizenship without speaking a word of French.

So basically .. I am perfectly willing to argue about the NATURE of these tests, if anyone can show any evidence of what they're like. But the fact of them existing just isn't offensive to me, even as an immigrant.



But who said Estonia is for Estonian speakers.

You're right, noone has said that.

However, Estonia is the last resort of the Estonian language. THERE IS NOWHERE ELSE.

Wanting this area - which is ONE FIVE HUNDRETH the area of the part of the world in which Russian is the lingua franca - to give up Estonian as its lingua franca just doesn't make any sense.

There is no such thing 35% are Russian speakers.

Why is it 35% now? I thought we were talking about the 9% that don't have citizenship?

Just because a not so large majority (as I think J mentioned) speak an obscure little language (Estonian)they do not have a right to impose this on others.

Every time you call Estonian "obscure", you make it so much harder for people to find a mutual understanding. "Tolerance" does not extend to having your language's right to exist questioned.

Yes, globally, Estonian is obscure. It is NOT, however, obscure in an Estonian context. Adapting to the local context is just a part of an immigration process, anywhere on this planet.

This is not imposition. This is common sense.

And look, my native tongue is English. I live in Austria, though, where the language people speak is German.

English is the global language. It's the language that'll open doors for you all over the planet.

It is also the language of extraordinary poets. Shakespear! Chaucer! Byron! These most stunning of the stunning magicians of human communication ..

.. while German is the language of that useless hack Goethe, who never wrote a truely inspiring line in all of his life. (Yes, there is German literature and poetry that I find more pleasing, but it doesn't really matter)

What reaction would I get if I started speaking English to people in Austria, because "German is obscure, anyways, compared to my language, and I think that Goethe sucks, and I love Shakespear. So you'll speak English to me now. But hey, I'll be tolerant, I'll still let you speak your obscure little language with your fellow countrymen!"

I would deserve every bit of contempt and laughter I would get.

When Estonia got its Independence it was for everybody who lived there.

And pre-Umvolkung Estonia actually handled this situation quite well, with the best minority rights in Europe, at the time. Jewish kids could receive their education in Jiddish in state schools (imagine that elsewhere in Europe in the 30s), Russian kids could do much the same.

Kristjan ütles ...

Space Maze - stop!

jaffa ütles ...

And funny how provocators will never stop until they fuck it up, or are told to go fuck themselves!

The BBC World Service and your 35% of Russian speakig Estonians are provaocators. And you are the Big Boss Man with the Baton who will thrash the arse of anyone who disagres. And you free use of abuse. Non Comos Mentis and dim wits are so characteristic of those with right wing views. However what do you propose if the your Russian soaing estonins refuse to speak your Etonian language beat them.
I Recall Malosovich another slav promised to beat the Kosovos and the rest is history.
Don't ise the F... and wash your tongue. Use your brains to post instead of abuse if you have any.

Kristjan ütles ...

Noone please respond.

space_maze ütles ...

Russian speakers can say "Hey you chaps, learn ours"

And like any other European culture, Estonians can reply by saying "Zuh?"

This argument might become valid when I start seeing French speaking Arabic with Tunisians in the streets of France.

When I start seeing Austrians speaking Persian with Iranians in the streets of Austria.

When I start seeing Germans speaking Turkish with Turks in the streets of Germany.

When I star seeing Brits speaking Urdu with Pakistanis in the streets of the UK.

When I start seeing Finns speaking Estonian with Estonians in the streets of Finland.

When I start seeing Swedes speak Serbian with Serbians in the streets of Sweden.

Alas, I've yet to see any of those things happen. So the only argument left is that Estonian is a "strange, obscure language."

Well screw that. What gives anyone the right to decide what languages are obscure and strange, and what languages are not?

Kristjan ütles ...

Space Maze, are you ill or something? How long do we have to go on?

space_maze ütles ...

Space Maze - stop!

Sul on õigus, olen lollakas kui ma vastan selle provotsiooni peale. Peaksin magama ...

Kristjan ütles ...

Alright. ;-)

Kristjan ütles ...
Blogi administraator eemaldas selle kommentaari.
jaffa ütles ...

DASVIDANY

Kristjan ütles ...

Now imagine if Sten had been "on duty"...

And you have a better understanding of what a monumental achievement it is that we now have peace in Tallinn.

Eppppp ütles ...

By the way. People. Do you still remember what was the original post? Maybe these f-words are a little too much? Im not sure what Giustino meant by censorship...
Jens-Olaf, Flasher and Giustino are all in pub here in Tartu at the moment(finding the international piece and the solution for problems ;)

As for the school reform, what I have read the plan is to change all the education into Estonian (I dont know in how many years) and this is what has caused a lot of tension in Russian teachers, and they give it to their students, too.

As for the citizenship exam... again rumors and some random newspaper articles. It is not only abou the language but also questions about history. Eg when was the first Estonian song festival. (Would be nice if we, Estonians, knew it.) I would like to know more about these exams.

English-Estonian dictionary?
aare.pri.ee/dictionary.html

space_maze ütles ...

Jens-Olaf, Flasher and Giustino are all in pub here in Tartu at the moment(finding the international piece and the solution for problems ;)

And I'm missing out on all the fun again, aww ;-)

It has felt a bit "pathetic" for me to be so upset about all this nonsense, when I haven't set a foot on Estonian soil for 1 1/2 years now. Alas ..

I just hope this stuff will have blown over by July - I finally get to come to Estonia again, yipee!

Kristjan ütles ...

I guess, much like government officials have, I should give a general instruction that at the current moment, because of the tensions, it is not entirely safe for you to roam this internet space, because it is a significant source of English-language information about these event.

Let's avoid sensitive topics as much as possible, for now. Let's put an end to provocations as soon as we notice them. Let's keep a cool head, and keep a strict discipline.

The reason why this space is under attack is that provocations on the streets of Tallinn have failed, and now these fuckers are out for revenge, I guess.

We do not respond to provocations.

space_maze ütles ...

I have a long way to go before becoming remotely Estonian, I see ;-)

Kristjan ütles ...

It's difficult to become an Estonian when you don't live next to Russia, and have to deal with this shit every day.

jaffa ütles ...

Kristjan said. At 9:15
Well, for a start, every Russian on Estonian soil should now understand quite clearly that the Estonian Republic exists, is rather strong, and decisive, and should not be mocked.

They should realize that Estonians are inclined to categorize them as "scum" when they treat Estonians and the Estonian Republic with contempt.

Let's see if that brings about the required attitude adjustment!


Kristjan what do you mean by Russian - Please Explain – Do you mean Estonian Sons of the Soil, & citizens who speak Russian 35% of your fellow countrymen.



You Said

They should realize that Estonians are inclined to categorize them as "scum" when they treat Estonians and the Estonian Republic with contempt.


You have abused your fellow countrymen enough, Mr Kristjan

How do you think we should deal with people who make statements like this.

So you think the Right Wingers in the Government will deal firmly with us. The Estonian Police I hear have asked for volunteers as they are overstretched and 500 have volunteered.

Perhaps you should do so, so you can get a hands on opportunity to be rather strong, and decisive, and should not be mocked. Perhaps you would like to beat us and beat us again in revenge of what Stalin did, remember Millions of Russian speakers suffered too.

Anyway we Russian Speakers are Estonian 100% this is our land and we are not going to go away. We will if we choose not learn your language. Why should are every large majority 35%.--

I do not know what you mean by deal firmly with the Russians in your midst

Read Morias and Js Post in this blog and come to your senses.

Otherwise the day will come (I hope not) when your “deal firmly” will be replied by a bullet through your head or your ilk or their families.

Then will the shooting and slaughter start

Don't raise the fire and hate of thousands of your contrymen and women

Dasvidany

jaffa ütles ...

Kristjan

Otherwise the day will come (I hope not) when your “deal firmly” will be replied by a bullet through your head or your ilk or their families.

Kristjan ütles ...

No response.

jaffa ütles ...

where are your vile abuse now Mr Kristjan

space_maze ütles ...

It's difficult to become an Estonian when you don't live next to Russia, and have to deal with this shit every day.

Yeah .. but I'm learning! It's been two years since I first encountered this shit in this violent quantities. I guess I can't expect to be good at it yet.

When I first got involved with my former (Estonian) girlfriend in 2003, I thought that she was way too hard on Russians in her beliefs. Being young and naive, I thought that all this stuff she was telling me couldn't possibly be as bad as she was saying it was. I was thinking .. "okay, she had a hard childhood under a totalitarian regime. I can't expect her to be over it quite yet."

The more time goes by, the more I feel like complete utter shit for having ever blamed her or any childhood traumas for her views. The more I read the kind of crap you guys get on a daily basis, the more I start believing that every single step Estonia took in handling this situation was absolutely essential.

All this happened though without me becoming any less of a bleeding-heart-liberal that gets angry whenever he sees any sign of discrimination or racism, anywhere. I've just grown a lot less naive about the rise and fall of empires, and how it affects people loyal to said empires.

Kristjan ütles ...

What part of "no response" didn't you understand, Space Maze?!

Kristjan ütles ...

Just stop posting for tonight!

jaffa ütles ...
Blogi administraator eemaldas selle kommentaari.
Kristjan ütles ...

Can I now please expect everyone to please not respond?

No need to answer that question! ;-)

Kristjan ütles ...

Space Maze, I was too harsh on you. I didn't actually notice you were replying to me, at first. Sorry!

Your post, however, was not helpful, and that's why I was displeased.

Let's all go to sleep now. ;-)

jaffa ütles ...
Blogi administraator eemaldas selle kommentaari.
Kristjan ütles ...

In fact it was not your fault at all, Space Maze.

Sleepy-sleep. ;-)

space_maze ütles ...

Space Maze, I was too harsh on you. I didn't actually notice you were replying to me, at first. Sorry!

No problem, but I was wondering if you were perhaps a bit touchy today ;-)

It's such a pity that this thread had to devolve here, as I was actually appreciating Jana's point of view, and was thrilled about there being reasonable discussion here - something Estonia needs dearly.

But it just had to be the same crap again. I suspect that as an Estonian, it's not very shocking to you. Personally, I'm not used to being stalked by psychopats.

I can only look forward to Justin cleaning up a bit around here again. Seriously, how dare him be at a pub? ;-) .. although I could also just try to totally ignore it all, and talk to those people actually worth talking to.

Though I have saved this site, in its current status, for future reference.

I'm a pompous nationalistic windbag, yipee! Fuck-a-doodle-do, that's me. I know a wide array of personal acquaintances that will get a kick out of seeing me described as that.

Right. Sleep. Adrenaline not helpful to that.

Kristjan ütles ...

No problem, but I was wondering if you were perhaps a bit touchy today ;-)

I certainly lost my temper a few times, and didn't keep the cool head I advocated. :-)

I guess this sort of stuff gets to us all, and not in any good way.

I hope Justin keeps it, though. No need to delete. Let's log it, because it's another important aspect of what's going on, and people in the West need to see it to understand things better.

I'm sure we'll all do better next time at not responding to... this.

space_maze ütles ...

Yeah .. agreed. These clowns do a better job at discrediting themselves than any one of us could ever do.

"This city Tallinn will be our new Capital.
The Capital Of the Russian speaking Estonian People."

Jesus Fucking Christ.

(unfortunately, that post has been deleted, but it deserves to be remembered into eternity.)

Giustino ütles ...

We're back from the pub.

A few things:

1. Jaffa, some of your posts were removed because they advocate genocide against the Estonian people. We do not support fascism on this blog, so please try to rephrase your thoughts without borrowing from the Nazi handbook, Hitlerite.

2. I am not a 'nutter' because I am not British and do not use such silly, obscure terms.

3. For the record, Estonia is 69 percent Estonian and 26 percent Russian. Tallinn is 55 percent Estonian and 37 percent Russian. This is all as of 2006. The 2007 numbers are due next month.

3. Your English is really good Kristjan. You are using the word "fuck" in the appropriate places, but maybe you should use it a bit more sparingly in the future.

4. This, people, is a European problem.

The Paris riots and the Tallinn riots are linked by a difficulty Europe has in integrating foreigners. Instead of pointing just at Estonia, we should think of the Netherlands and Theo Van Gogh and Paris and Tallinn and wonder how do you integrate cultures that question to right of the dominant culture to exist?

The Dutch need to integrate radical islamicists that question Dutch notions of tolerance. The Estonians have to integrate radical Russian nationalists that think that it is their purpose to bury the Estonian people and their language.

Conservatives say the answer is to be more strict. More liberal people believe there should be more caring and understanding.

But hey, us English speakers in Estonia comprise a minority. Where are our rights? Why should we have to take a test in some obscure little language? That seems racist to me.

And why would the Russian minority get special privileges that we should also be entitled to? Why are they so special? So they've only been here for 40 years more than we have, but so what. More of us will come. So where are our rights, damnit!

You see, if you peddle it down that route, you open a whole can of worms. 70,000 people speak Võru in Estonia. Does that get to be a state language too?

This is bullshit guys. I have no questions about the language set up in Estonia. I have questions about attitudes and methods. But the idea that Estonia is 70 percent Estonian and therefore the national language is Estonian makes sense to me. It's the only logical path to follow. New York is more than 30 percent Spanish speaking. Yet at the official level it's all in English. That's the way New Yorl operates, since 1664. So does Estonia, so has the Netherlands, so does France.

If you want to be president of Estonia you are just going to have to speak Estonian because if you don't (cough cough, Karl Vaino) nobody will vote for you and you will lose. And then you'll complain about not having any political power.

Ahh, what a vicious cycle.

Giustino ütles ...

I hope Justin keeps it, though. No need to delete. Let's log it, because it's another important aspect of what's going on, and people in the West need to see it to understand things better.

It appears I just pulled an Ansip.

Kristjan ütles ...

Your English is really good Kristjan. You are using the word "fuck" in the appropriate places, but maybe you should use it a bit more sparingly in the future.

Yes, you're right and I will.

jaffa ütles ...

Goodnight!

For the record the discussion started around the views of the following great posts,

Moria at 1:19 PM
J at 12:36 PM
And Jafar

These are very important points and outline the Issues in an Independent non partisan manner

They all gave well reasoned arguments and called for reconciliation, the also pointed out how grim the situation in Estonia was and what could it lead to.

I hope the owner of this blog will read all posts carefully as it has been read by thousands searching to understand the situation in Estonia.

The Human Rights Situation was also discussed and the plight of the 35% Russians speaking Estonians who feel that they are second class citizens.

However there are two regular posters here who are die hard Nationalist and cannot understand anything but their own sectarian Agenda. Some are downright immature these space_maze and the abusive Kristjan, after reading Moira’s and J post please read the posts from these two characters and outside observers.

The situation in Estonia is felt to be very serious by the large minority community.

We there will not be another Balkan like situation in this context the posts of Moira and J are very important.

Once there is a serious schism it would be impossible to get the two communities together. Communal hatred is like a monster history has shown that must be stamped out in its infancy.
Both communities need to establish trust.

By stamped it is meant by building peace, trust, and understanding.

The initiative should be taken by the majority community as the minorities are always more insecure

An Amnesty international report has been posted. The Minority community agrees that this report illustrates some of the issues.

All new posters of this Blog have been well wishers of Estonia

Kristjan ütles ...

I would like to point out - without getting into an argument - that in my opinion Jaffa is intentionally trying to mislead the reader by presenting an absurd assessment of the current situation, and an intentionally and severely flawed analysis of the underlying causes.

Kristjan ütles ...

I would like to point out - without getting into an argument - that in my opinion Jaffa has no interest whatsoever in the well-being of the Republic of Estonia, and the peaceful co-existence of ethnic Russians and ethnic Estonians therein. In my opinion, Jaffa in fact represents the interests of the Russian Federation, whose main interest currently is the splitting of the Estonian society into two very distinct groups that are hostile towards each other, and both under the control of the Russian Federation in their major decisions.

I believe that Jaffa wants to see the Republic of Estonia weak, divided, in constant internal torment, and always firmly under the control of the Russian Federation.

It is also my assessment that the interests and methods of himself and his masters are criminal, deceitful, hypocritical and barbaric.

martintg ütles ...


jaffa said...
For the record the discussion started around the views of the following great posts,

Moria at 1:19 PM
J at 12:36 PM
And Jafar


Actually, I thought Puu's post was better and more entertaining. Puu, why don't you write your thoughts in your own blog? Maybe some photos too?

It was pretty obvious that Jaffa = Jafar = J = Moria, all used similar odd terms like "sons of the soil". He should be locked up in an asylum for the criminally insane.

Kristjan ütles ...

Let it also be noted that I wonder with all seriousness whether my life is currently at risk.

jaffa ütles ...

In reply to Kristjan, I am a man of Peace and you are paranoid. One glance of the Ethnic Map of Estonia will enable you to understand how vulnerable the country is to disintegration if the very large minority population is alienated.

Firstly the Russian speaking Estonians wish to be no part of Russia andthis is fundamental for you to understand, they have their own estonian identity.

They are a large and significant minority community who are harshly treated. Much smaller minorities have achieved autonomy and independence.

The tipping point will occur when the Russian speaking Estonians. (I use the term “sons of the soil”. As some of them have, contrary to basic human rights been denied citizenship) These Estonians will realize that they would be better off if they governed themselves.

In this case they will be entitled to demand there share of the soil of Estonia and as all freedom struggles, they will be willing to fight for their own rights of self determination. That is to not having to learn this Estonian Language and be absorbed in another culture.

With a firm friend in Russia providing Capital for economic developmet this in going their own way is viable and maybe very attractive.

Off course there will be ethnic cleansing and population movements. The Russian speaking Estonians will find a strong ally and sympathy in Russia.

In the opinion of many the Russian speaking Estonians will be much better off.

For example they pay taxes but do not have a Russian university I Estonia. Their children cannot learn their mother tongue in school. Honoring the dead of the Second World War is a great cultural event. Many Russian speaking Estonians have felt proud of their war memorial. These the being removed and destroyed. As a culture they are being annihilated. As a people they are being humiliated.

They will come a time when this no longer can be endured.
I think Russia will ensure the rest of the world stays neutral as the Russian speaking Estonians fight and their freedom and destiny.

jaffa ütles ...

In the above context my statement

"This city Tallinn will be our new Capital.
The Capital Of the Russian speaking Estonian People."

Is a very realistic vision for Russian Speaking Estonian Nationalists.

Kristjan ütles ...

Let it finally be noted that I have alerted the attention of the Estonian Security Police Board ( Kaitsepolitseiamet) to this comments page.

martintg ütles ...

You are delusional Jaffa/Jafar/J, and in need of mental health care.

jaffa ütles ...

There you are! You see my Russian Speaking Estonians. They have organized their own Gestapo for you. These people who fancy themselves EEC nationals know nothing of right of free speech. . I am not instigating anything, but warning the good Estonian people that peace and reconciliation is paramount. And this is the obligation of the majority community. |I beg you to all my posts the posts of Moria and Js and jafar. The situation can become serious.

jaffa ütles ...

All the minority community seems to be becoming delusional. Maybe it was the beating they got from the police the other night.

martintg ütles ...

Jaffa/Jafar/J/Moria, you are the only one who is delusional here. The majority of Russian Estonians are not interested in your insane rants.

jaffa ütles ...

Look firstly I wish to reiterate that I am a peace loving man. I believe in strict Gandhian principals that conflict should be resolved with non violence. I am also a well wisher of the Estonians.
However what makes you think that these are not the views of some of the minority Russian speaking Estonian People. I am amazed at your arrogance that you think the Russian Estonian will sit quietly and be oppressed in this manner..
Try you best to reconcile the situation build trust and mutual respect. The Nightmare scenario I have outlined can come about. I would very much hate this.
I only have the power of persuasion with words. But I like to do my bit for peace and humanity. Every Estonian can do his or her bit. I have found some of the postings in particular about language and nationality arrogant and despicable.

martintg ütles ...

Jaffa/Jafar/J/Moria, I know for a fact that the majority of Russian Estonians are not interested in your insane hate filled racist fantasies.

Why? Because in the last elections, the Constitutional Party which campaigned to save the Bronze Soldier, got less that 6000 votes nationwide. Less than 6000, half the votes they got in 2004!

The majority of ethnic Russians voted for Edgar Savisaar's Centre Party. It must be remembered, Edgar Savisaar voted in favour of the law on war graves.

martintg ütles ...

p.s. Jaffa/Jafar/J/Moria, you are obviously the same person, suffering from some kind of multiple personality mental illness. Please seek professional help, before it is too late.

mina ütles ...

Everyone take it easy - you have the best argument as weapon - the truth. Truth about history and situation. And the best way to present it is to be "clear headed".

But I still expect, when it is over, Ansip to take responsibility and step down. Because of inadequate understanding the situation and decisions that led to destruction of property and loss of lives. And it could have been prevented by more intensive informing of Russian speaking population. And the interviews of foreign minister Paet were just pathetic - especially the one on BBC.

martintg ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
martintg ütles ...

I don't think Ansip or anyone else should step down. No one could have predicted the outcome. It was always going to be a difficult operation, particularly after the previously riigikogu passed that law on monuments that Ilves vetoed, which only served to give ammunition to the opposition.

They did well to recover the situation, with a ceremony to re-open the monument at the new location planned for May 8th. Despite all the material losses caused by the rioting, I guess one positive outcome is that a lot of steam would have been blown off.

I don't think you want to set a precedent that a democratically elected Prime Minister resigns every time there is a riot, you would end up having riots every month!

mina ütles ...

I still stress that the goal of the government should be peace and stability. And at the moment Ansip government failed.

Of course the vandals and thieves have no nationality and they should and will be punished.

But I expect Ansip to take responsibility.

Vova ütles ...

"I still stress that the goal of the government should be peace and stability. And at the moment Ansip government failed" - And indeed it is, but the other government's goal, that of Tiblastan, is to play the "Russian" card--the quotes mean that the rioting scum are not Russians but subhuman debris.
Historical justice has to be restored. The country that deposited this scum here has to take it back. Until it does, there'll be no peace.
Родина-maa зовёт.
From Наблюдатель

martintg ütles ...

Sure, but were is the stability if Ansip steps down and a new coalition needs to be reformed? I don't see the point.

If heads need to roll, then either the Defence head for inadequate planning, it was their show, or the Police head for allowing the rioters to get out of control and loot the Old Town because all available police were located in the wrong place.

Agu-Enrik Ubailves ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Giustino ütles ...

Kristjan,

Don't tell my wife to shut the fuck off ever again.

I am a journalist, this is true. But I write business news about topics wholly unrelated to Estonia.

So this is my domain, and in my domain, nobody insults my wife like that.

I'd prefer if everyone canned the personal insults.

We can all agree that there is some value to peaceful dialogue, not flame wars. Flame wars are for delfi.

As for the Kremlin brigade, I am aware they exist. But I have a much stronger will than they do.

Giustino ütles ...

Also, Ansip should not resign. This constant resignation fever in Estonia only makes the country weak. If people think he's a jerk, they don't have to vote for him next time.

As for the foreign ministry, work harder. Put your releases on news wires so they get picked up. Right now there are few places -- this being one of them -- where the Russian foreign ministry propaganda organs aren't dominating.

I am begging you to please be more proactive.

mina ütles ...

"This constant resignation fever in Estonia only makes the country weak."

I must agree - really uncomfortable situation. Vandals made resignation of Ansip one of their slogans. This makes it really difficult for him to resign.

But about Savisaar - I don't like him, but I understand his useful position. He is like an estonian with whom the russians can liken themselves. "Lightning rod"...

Agu-Enrik Ubailves ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Giustino ütles ...

I must agree - really uncomfortable situation. Vandals made resignation of Ansip one of their slogans. This makes it really difficult for him to resign.

He's not my favorite prime minister. But he isn't overemotional and I think that works to his advantage.

I don't like my president, but he got re-elected in 2004, and elected he'll stay until 2009. Would I like him to resign? Sure.

But I don't think it will seriously happen. And I understand that, in a democracy, we have to live with these things.

Right now who else would take over? Another member of Reform (the largest party in government)? Well they all agree on this matter, as do most Estonian politicians. So removing Ansip solves nothing.

One thing I am happy about is that people are blaming Ansip. This shows that the set-up works. They are blaming the politicians, not other people. That's a healthy sign.

But honestly, since I can't read Russian and most Estonians, especially those under 25, can't either, it might make sense to spraypaint your dirty graffiti in Estonian, so that it has more impact.

If that community has legitimate problems it would like to see answered, gathering teenagers together to shout "fascist" is the worst thing they can do.

I want to see Estonia suceed as much as anyone else. But seeing them continuously shoot themselves in the foot and be unable to present their grievances in a way that sways non-Russian-speakers to their side is just frustrating.

If Dr. King had encouraged or justified things like the Watts Riots in 1965, we would not have a national holiday to him today.

It's time to smarten up. Burning R-Kiosks gets you nowhere.

Agu-Enrik Ubailves ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
mina ütles ...

Yep - I am not lying when I say, I was surprised - Estonian (riot) police performed really well and were able to show self-restraint.

Notice that the offensive Russian rhetorics have been more or less silenced at the moment.

Kristopher ütles ...

Ansip is expendable and Laar is waiting in the wings. (In any case, Kallas's term is as vice president of the EU is up pretty soon anyway -- kind of a situation like when the poisslinnapea Ratas was mayor of Tallinn and Savisaar all of a sudden found himself without a post.)

Ansip is a red herring dangled in front of Nashi's sloganeers. Ansip is just a manager. It's like Andrus Veerpalu or someone is PM and it is claimed he is a sinister policy architect. Come on. But this situation suits Estonia just fine. If it comes to crisis on the 9th, Ansip will be dumped some way or another.

Giustino ütles ...

Laar would at least be desirable because everyone knows him. Contacts are important. The reason that Estonia's allies are backing it in this is because Javier Solana and Carl Bildt and others like Ilves and Laar. They are friends.

Agu-Enrik Ubailves ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Kristjan ütles ...

Kristjan,

Don't tell my wife to shut the fuck off ever again.

I am a journalist, this is true. But I write business news about topics wholly unrelated to Estonia.

So this is my domain, and in my domain, nobody insults my wife like that.



Giustino,

I did not insult your wife.

As I already mentioned, I lost my temper and my cool head because of Jaffa's vile provocation. I was very eager to put a stop to the conversation, to stop the provocation having its unfortunate effect.

In the course of trying to stop the conversation, I realize that I posted impolitely towards Space Maze and Epp.

This was not anything personal! I merely wished to stress the importance of the conversation stopping.

I realize I used the word "fuck" far too many times, but I did also write to Epp that I meant what I said in the nicest of ways. ;-)

In the current situation, we all have to be smart. If one of us notices something important, it is vital that this is communicated immediately and very clearly to all others.

In the course of this, I realize it might have seemed that I'm an obnoxious lout who just likes to swear.

This is not so!

Let's all be friends, and let's also understand we can't afford to be so fragile at the present time. ;-)

Giustino ütles ...

Kristjan,

I didn't think you meant it maliciously. But we do have to make sure this place doesn't devolve into an insult contest.

A common comment used in forums is "don't feed the troll" -- don't give for ammo to people that search the Internet looking to start the same kinds of arguments.

Maybe the best way to say it from now on is, "don't feed the troll."

Kristjan ütles ...

Maybe so. :-)

But I will certainly not hesitate to use foul language to get the point across, if "don't feed the troll" is not sufficient. ;-)

plasma-jack ütles ...

paluks jätta ka tiblatamata. mul on õnneks mitu head venelasest tuttavat ja nad on oma rahvuskaaslaste käitumise üle sama nördinud kui mina. 35% elanikkonnast, kes pingeliselt revolutsiooniks valmistub, on parimal juhul 2-3% - vähemalt siin, Tallinnas.

ka juhul, kui igaüks neist endale neli internetiidentiteeti loob, ei ole see eriti suur arv, mille pärast leili minna ;-)

Kristjan ütles ...

Millest sa räägid, Plasma?

Minu seisukoht on alati olnud selgelt see, et normaalsetele Eesti venelastele peame me näitama, et me ei vihka neid selle pärast, mis toimub. Me mõistame miks toimub see, mis toimub, ja me mõistame, et neid on räigelt manipuleeritud.

Manipulaatorite vastu mina aga mingit armulikkust üles ei näita! See on kuritegelik saast, mille võime tegutseda tuleb täielikult hävitada.

plasma-jack ütles ...

no vot, a ära siis jaga automaatselt venelasteks ja eestlasteks. pooltoonid.

Kristjan ütles ...

Ei mingeid pooltoone! Meil on õigus ja neil ei ole.

Aga ega nad siis sellepärast halvad inimesed ei ole, et mõtlevad nii, nagu mõtlevad.

plasma-jack ütles ...

The local Azerbaijani community has used good opportunity to not be quiet. The Azeris allege that ethinc minorities are having really great time in Estonia. Great PR-move for them - so far all I knew about local Azeris was that they have darker complexion than most of us and that they probably make great schaschlyk.

Kristjan ütles ...

If you speak Estonian, you should read this.

http://www.delfi.ee/news/paevauudised/arvamus/article.php?id=15711819

In my opinion it is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Kristjan ütles ...

If you don't speak Estonian and/or would like some more back-ground information, please read the blog entry that Mart Laar has made. It's in English.

http://blog.irl.ee/Mart/

plasma-jack ütles ...

that on, too, shows the way how Russians think and how Estonians think:
http://www.tol.cz/look/TOL/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=4&NrIssue=215&NrSection=2&NrArticle=18701&tpid=7

they've got one sane Russian opinion there, too.

Kaur ütles ...

Unfortunately sociologists are not on power in Russia and Kremlin follows the policy described by Dugin:
"I think that we cannot fail to respond. This is a spit the face of every Russian and goes to the heart of what is our essence, of what unifies people in Russia today with the Soviet Union: the great victory, the great victory over fascism. This is what the Estonian authorities are mocking. I think we have to react in the harshest manner possible."

space_maze ütles ...

As for the citizenship exam... again rumors and some random newspaper articles. It is not only abou the language but also questions about history. Eg when was the first Estonian song festival. (Would be nice if we, Estonians, knew it.) I would like to know more about these exams.

Oh yeah .. I hate that kind of stuff. And it has no place in citizenship exams - unfortunately, it is, in way too many European countries, including the one I am in. I just find it extremely silly to expect people to know things a "real native" might have heard, years ago, but would never actively know.

This leads me to further agree with what Justin has been saying for a long time: Estonia is "just another" European nation. Though its problems cannot necessarily be compared with other European countries' problems (as we don't have many immigrants "over here" that do not accept the existence of "our" state), but its wishes, hopes, and hangups, are quite up to European standards.

Which is not necessarily a good thing ;-) .. but it makes little sense to crucify Estonia internationally over this kind of stuff.

Puu ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Kristjan ütles ...

I think you are right, and I hope so too!

martintg ütles ...

Inside every Russian speaking citizen there is a little Estonian who wants to come out, we just have to help them through education and other programs.