“Nowadays, the view on national security is changing. Issues such as social exclusion or poverty are becoming the object of national security. Any exclusion we observe, or get informed about by our national minorities, is a serious signal”, says a chairman of the parliamentary Committee of National Security and Defense Vytautas Bakas.
At the beginning of the week Vytautas Bakas met the director of the Department of National Security, Darius Jauniškis. One of the topics of the discussion was the issue of integration of national minorities.
“National minorities should feel worthy citizens and there should be no doubt about it or a feeling that one is being discriminated, or others. Every single person should feel like a citizen of our country who has full rights. It is important to provide opportunities to participate in creating our country, getting involved in decision-making processes and at the same time – freedom of self-realization and cultivation of one’s own culture”, says the deputy responsible for national security.
“When we face unconventional threats, hostile forces use each and every misunderstanding to achieve lesser stability of the country – an example may be Ukraine, where the unrest was stoked on the grounds of nationality. In neighboring Latvia constant escalation of the situation of minorities is being held. Compared to that, the situation in our country is much better, we are more stable and it is important to keep it”, emphasizes the politician.
In his opinion, in the coming years it will be important not only to solve declared problems of national minorities, but also to provide them with access to various sources of information. As one of possible solutions Bakas lists broadcasting of Polish television in Lithuania and broadening of the offer of public television for national minorities. The politician is also an enthusiast of giving more attention to history of towns, region and teaching national history this way in schools of national minorities.
Tłumaczenie by Agnieszka Drabik w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Agnieszka Drabik within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.