Embassy of the Czech Republic in Sarajevo

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Czech Compatriot Organizations

There are three compatriot associations presently active on the territory of B&H: Association of the Citizens of Czech Origin ČESKÁ BESEDA Sarajevo (Udruženje gradana češkog prijekla ČESKÁ BESEDA Sarajevo) and Association of Bosnian - Czech Friendship "SNJEŠKA" Sarajevo (Udruženje Gradana - Društvo Bosansko-Češkog Prijateljstva "SNJEŠKA" Sarajevo) in the entity Federation of B&H and the Association of the Czechs of the Republika Srpska "ČESKÁ BESEDA" (Udruženje Čeha Republike Srpske "ČESKÁ BESEDA") in the entity Republika Srpska, which consists of four sections (seated in the towns of Banja Luka, Prijedor, Mačino Brdo and Nova Ves). Cooperation between the Embassy and those organizations acquired a stabilized form in the year of 2003. The Embassy staffs are invited regularly to events organized by compatriot associations and all the associations and sections help willingly at any cultural event organized by the Embassy and, vice versa, the representatives and members of the associations are invited to receptions organized by the Embassy at the opportunity of national days of the Czech Republic. All the compatriot organizations suffer from a lack of financial resources of their own. That is why they appreciate allowances obtained yearly from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic for their concrete projects, e.g. for their bulletins edition, lectures, exhibitions etc. In this regard the abovementioned compatriot associations are possible to be considered as relatively active ones and the cooperation with them as bilaterally productive.

On the 18 th of May the Mačino Brdo Section of the Association of the Czechs of the RS organized a cultural evening party at the Fifth Anniversary of Renewal of the Association Activities in a numerous participation of other sections members and at attendance of regional mass media. The programme contained a musical and dance performance of the youth and adult compatriots. The Czech Embassy was represented by a diplomat who is in charge of the cooperation with the compatriot organizations, who also visited Banja Luka for a forenoon recitation programme where poems by Jaroslav Koleška (1923-1990), a Czech compatriot from Banja Luka, were recited.

On the occasion of visiting the highest representatives of the Republika Srpska on 21 st - 22 nd May, the Ambassador visited three sections of the Association of the Czechs of the RS in Prijedor, Mačino Brdo and Nova Ves. His meeting with compatriots in Prijedor was monitored by the entity TV station and published in the regional press. Within the framework of the same journey to RS the Ambassador hosted at the Kazemat Restaurant in Banja Luka all the section chair persons and members of the Association Committee at a festive dinner, given to the 125 th anniversary of the Czechs and Moravians coming to the Banja Luka surrounding country. At the dinner party possible perspectives of further cooperation between the compatriot associations in B&H and the Embassy of the Czech Republic were discussed.

On the 6 th of October, 2003, the members of the Association of Bosnian - Czech Friendship "Snješka" celebrated the 10 th anniversary of the association foundation. On that occasion they organized a ceremonial evening party containing a remembrance programme, photo exhibition of their activities and a cultural programme given by young members (students of Sarajevo secondary schools). As guests of honour the Ambassador and other diplomats of the Embassy were present. In his appearance the Ambassador remembered the oppressive time in which the Association had been founded and the support that B&H received from the Czech Republic, especially in the field of military assistance and humanitarian, political and economical aid. The association awarded Appreciation of Honour to former and present Embassy staffs, and to the director of the Compatriot Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Mr. Lyčka.

At other cultural event - the Evening with a Czech writer Jaroslav Hašek - the " Snješka" association members prepared reading demonstrations from the writer´s books, read both in the Bosnian and the Czech languages. The programme also contained a Christmas performance by schoolchildren of one of the Sarajevo primary schools.

On 15 th - 22 nd December, 2003, the "Česká Beseda" Sarajevo association arranged an exhibition named "The Work of Czech Architects in B&H". The exhibition was situated at the exhibition hall of the Franciscan Monastery of St. Ante in Sarajevo under the patronage of the Embassy. During the exhibition Mr. Mehmed Hrasnica, the professor of architecture, read a lecture on the subject of "Architect Josef Pospíšil and the beginning of modern architecture and urbanism in B&H".

On 14 th of November, 2003, on the eve of the "Day of the Fight for Freedom and Democracy" the Ambassador gave reception to the chairman of the "Česká Beseda" Sarajevo and the chairman of the "Snješka" Sarajevo during which he handed them bronze remembrance medals of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.