On the 4th March this year EAPL in the Seimas registered a bill in which it proposed to renew the Law on National Minorities of 29th January 1991 until a new such law was adopted. EAPL believes that in the country where 16% of population consists of minorities, it is crucial that their position in the country be regulated. Meanwhile, on 31st December 2009 the law was replaced by an unacceptable legal vacuum.
The Law on national minorities was adopted on 10th December 1989. Two years later – on 29th January 1991 – it was modified and amended by the Supreme Council – the Reconstituent Seimas of the Lithuanian Republic and signed by Vytautas Landsbergis. The law was renewed and valid for almost 20 years of our independence. Several days ago V. Landsbergis announced that it was not important who had signed it on the day of 29th January 1991. “It does not mean that in today’s circumstances I would do it again,” he added.
Should his approach not be called cynical and two-faced? 22 years ago, when support of the general public was needed, when Lithuanians, Poles, Belarusians, Russians and representatives of other nationalities worked together to defend fragile Lithuanian independence, V. Landsbergis had nothing against signing such a law. Today he announces that he would not do it anymore. This is a personal disgrace of the conservative leader. Such statements can only be understood as a confirmation of the decline of minority rights in Lithuania.
Tłumaczenie Aleksandra Christ w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Aleksandra Christ within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.