Irena Ondrová, mayor of the regional capital Zlín and ex-senator of the parliament of the Czech Republic, expressed her support for the World March for Peace and Nonviolence. From the onset, the Mayor felt drawn by the idea of the march, which is why she supported the celebrations of its opening ceremony, which took place the 2nd October in La Paz square, Zlín. She made her approval of the World March clear with the following statement:
“Until now my life, which has gone on for many years, has been lived in peace. That is to say, without the presence of trenches or mass graves, free of shrapnel and tanks and without having to confront court-martials. Everything I know about history’s ‘great wars’ and of any of today’s armed conflicts, I have learnt form other sources. Through documents, films and testimonials, one can at least imagine what it was like in the wars which unleashed their furry on our small blue planet. Wars are sometimes based on noble causes, but often with only ideological, economic or religious ends.
My memories are not influenced by any personal experience of war. However, my experience of 1968, when our country was invaded by the supposedly friendly armies led by the then Soviet Union, and the unprecedented encroachment on the lives of all its inhabitants, the forced split of our own European culture and the humiliation of so many people, forces me to be alert to aggression, world megalomania, false claims of political leadership and other similar manifestations.
The tendency today is to ‘rise above problems’, worry about business, entertainment, personal success, and earnings. We are slowly getting used to violence and the exploitation of concrete situations for personal ends. The fact that peace is so unusual and unappreciated seems normal to us. How thin is the line separating us from disaster! For this reason, we must attentively follow what goes on in the world, fight against violence, and try to make sure all inhabitants of this blue planet may enjoy the luxury that I have enjoyed: to live in peace.”
Mrs Irena Ondrová is mayor of the regional capital Zlín since 2006 and was the first woman elected for a such a position in the country’s history. From 1996 to 2002 she was the senator of Parliament for the Czech Republic. The city of Zlín is the capital of one of the fourteen regions into which the Czech Republic is divided. It is situated in the centre of the East Moravia, near the Slovakian border. With a population of over 100.000 people, it is the country’s twelfth biggest city.
Irena Ondrová is the second mayor to support the march. Not long ago, so did the mayor of Prague, Dr. Pavel Bém, who contributed financially to the participation in the march of Czech national, Lucie Fialová. Support was also given from presidents or town councilors of dozens of councils of the Czech Republic and members of parliament from all public sectors.
*(Translation provided by Viviane Fathimani)*