Bilingual tables return to the project on the Law on National Minorities

Marian Paluszkiewicz

On Wednesday the Human Rights Committee of the Lithuanian Seym was again slanting about the project on the Law on National Minorities. At the meeting was added a notation to the Law which made legal bilingual tables in areas where the biggest amount of national minorities’ citizens live.  

The chairman of the Human Rights Committee is a Pole – Leonard Talmont on behalf of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, EAPL (pl. Akcja Wyborcza Polaków na Litwie, AWPL) who are actively trying to fill the juridical hole appeared because of the lack of the Law on National Minorities. The legate Leonard Talmont thinks that without the Law on National Minorities it would be almost impossible to regulate the functioning of national minorities in Lithuania.

Few weeks ago the members of the Committee agreed on something different that is: bilingual tables (in national minority’s language and Lithuanian) will be placed only if names are registered by the minority or community.

However, on Wednesday the Committee approved a proposal of Jarosław Narkiewicz (Vice-President of the Lithuanian Seym on behalf of EAPL) that in areas inhabited mainly by national minorities their native language could be used in information and public inscriptions.

On Wednesday the Committee overturned another proposal of a conservator Valentinas Stundys which had been approved a few weeks ago. At the time on the initiative of the conservator the Committee approved a proposal that in areas inhabited mainly by national minorities people who are not so good at Lithuanian could use their native language in the offices of local authorities and local organizations but only orally. The project stated that all documents in such offices and organizations will be written only in Lithuanian.

At the request of the legates on behalf of EAPL, including Leonard Talmont, on Wednesday the Committee returned to the original version of the Law, that is: ‘In the offices, companies and organizations of state or local government in areas inhabited mainly by people who belong to the national minorities it is possible to use their native language with the Lithuanian’.

Lithuania does not have the Law on National Minorities because the applicable for 20 years law expired January 1, 2010.

Since then EAPL, Polish community in Lithuania and other national minorities have been appealing for the quickest approval of the Law which will regulate rights and duties of national minorities in Lithuania.

We are reminding that few weeks ago the Lithuanian Seym had to examine two projects of the law on writing names and surnames and the project of the Law on National Minorities but in the last moment it was canceled.

Source: http://l24.lt/pl/prawo/item/36343-dwujezyczne-napisy-wracaja-do-projektu-ustawy-o-mniejszosciach-narodowych

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