- September 5, 2012
Law guaranties protection of Polish minority.
There are a lot of regulations, where one of them is in a Polish – Lithuanian Treaty about friendly relationship and neighborly cooperation from 26 of April 1994, where that treaty obligates the Government in Vilnius to respect rights of Polish minority in Lithuania.
In the mean time, elites of government act in a discriminative way in a branch of protection of minorities. This acting is abs the international clauses, where Lithuania is a signatory.
Those act are especially some clauses form begging of 90’s, which forced closes of a small educational places and they limits uninhibited using of polish language in educational program in 2012. for good relation between Poland and Lithuania the Vilnius’ government needs to obey all clauses.
The beginning of the end of using polish names as well as teaching in the language of minority for Poles is the clause from march 17th 2011. To make it easy for the minorities there were issued some bilateral and multilateral law regulations, which guarantees to Poles some freedom.
Those law regulations give the rights to the usage of native language in all aspects of live to the Polish minority. That rights are regulated by treaties which contents was building by ages.
First steps were made right after communism was free from ZSSR, when Lithuania as an Independent country started to be seen among other countries. Building the political relationships between countries was stared with sweeping the letters by chefs of diplomatic relations, right after that on 5th of September 1991 Poland and Lithuania established diplomatic relations. On January 13th 1992 a declaration about friendly relations and neighborly cooperation was accepted. The closing effect for cooperation between countries was mentioned above treaty. During signing of the treaty in Vilnius representatives of both countries assured about to obey the human rights as well as basic freedom and respecting integrity and sovereignty both countries. Also, the treaty regulated some issues of protecting the minorities who lives in both countries as well as specified law and guaranteed the obedience to the treaty. Moreover, the treaty defined features of the minorities. All of those issues are available in five articles of the Treaty.(Articles number 13 to 17), which are responding directly to the laws of the National Minorities. On the basis of clause 3Article 13,
membership in national minority is an individual choice of a person any negative effect cannot
occur with that choice. Lithuania shows unobedience to the treaty with the decision about name’s spelling. The decision is disadvantageous and was made by Constitutional court.
Next Clauses of the treaty constitutes clearly minority laws: freedom of language usage in a public or in a private way; access to the information in that language as well as dissemination and exchange of it. Moreover, minority have a right to possess own mass media, teach and studying the language of the minority and use names and surnames with the correctness in unison in the language of minority..Furthermore, the treaty guarantees for the minority which is major part of the region the right of education of culture, history, native language until High school.
The issue of protection for Polish minority in Lithuania is also available in the International covenant on civil rights, universal declaration of human rights, documents of organization for security and co-operation in Europe, European Convention on Human Rights, framework convention for the protection of national minorities. The last convention was ratified in 2000 by Lithuania. Acts of it constitutes clearly the point of the disputed issues: every person who belongs to the national minority has a right to the language freedom in private, public , spelling, speech without any interference. if the persons have a wish and that wish is needed in reality, sides who signed the treaty are obeyed to make it possible to use the language of minority among them and administration In regions where members of the minority were living traditionally or in a major part. Moreover, the European law asserts to every person form the national minority can use its native name and surname and use signs in the language of the minority with freedom. authorities obligates to use names of towns, locals native language on the territory where is in major.
Un obedience by Vilnius’ government acts mentioned above it is a reason of non good relations between countries. The main reason regards to the alteration form march 17th of 2011 which constitutes the weakening of polish education, ban of the spelling for Polish names and names of the street and even limit the voting rights of Poles because of adverse borders for voting seats. Rights of Lithuanian minority are respected in for example Punsk, Poland. There are names of the streets available in native language and kids can study in Lithuanian till high school. Unfortunately, this is not happening to the Polish minority in Lithuania
to finish presented impasse between Polish minority and government, rights have to respected by the elite with power. Also, polish politics have to do something in this game. They need to enforce those rights from Lithuanian government. Poles living in Lithuania are trying to care for the rights of minorities which are part of the basic catalog of civil rights .On the other hand, governments from Poland and Lithuania are doing more of partnership of strategy. So, is it possible to co-operate regarding to the rights of polish minority?
Tłumaczenie Karolina Przybyło w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Karolina Przybyło within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.