- March 20, 2012
The Polish program for Lithuania
If few thousands Lithuanian Poles go out into the streets , which number is about 200 thousands, then we may conclude that problem is serious.
Without doubt the Act of Educational Law, which has been into effect since the last year, created such problem. This Acts has negative impact on polish minority, because of limitation of scope of taught subjects in polish language and endangering the existence of polish schools in Lithuania as well. In future it could endanger existence of Polishness in the Lithuanian state.
No matter what did the Lithuanian politicians declared then and now, no matter how we are convinced of a deep love of Lithuanians to Poles and Poland. More important is the fact, that the amended Act worsening situation of Poles living in Lithuania. Moreover, the Act violates rules of treatment of national minorities in Europe. The only thing that could be done by the Lithuanian government, is to change the Act and listen to the argument of Poles. Otherwise the relations between Warsaw and Vilnius would remain still the same.
What does the polish government can do for Poles in Lithuania? In the diplomatic lever nothing more remained to be done. Never before in defense of polish minority in a democratic state polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs reacted that much firmly. Never before any current Minister have threatened to do not enter Lithuanian border until the situation of Poles in Lithuania get better. Nothing more in the diplomatic level cannot be done, without further worsening neighbourhood relations, whom we should be bounded with. Every each another stop could just worsen the current situation of polish Lithuanians.
We should keep on supporting polish schools, and developing through its students laptops and invite them for a trips to Poland. But it is still not enough. We need to take more care of cultural return of Poland to the East. I’ve appealed a few months ago for taking an example from Russians and to support polish culture in Lithuania – both high and low in its best quality. Russians keep on providing for Lithuanians and other former soviet republics best products of the Russian filmography : from sport to fictional ones. Moreover Russians do send their best star to such centers of Lithuanian culture as Kaunas. Till now Russian language was related with soviet domination. Currently it is perceived as “acceptable”. Although for Lithuanians the language is the most precious thing they have.
A few decades ago polish culture has attracted Lithuanian elites and let Poles living there feel better, mostly poor and humble ones. Without doubt polish culture does not endanger to Lithuanian independence and polonization of Lithuanian society would not happen again. And the strong presence of polish culture will work good for both Poles and Lithuanians.
Tłumaczenie Ewelina Targosz w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Ewelina Targosz within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.