- January 18, 2013
The leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania: it’s high time we resolved the problems of Poles in Lithuania
It’s time for some serious steps to be taken in order to resolve the problems of Poles in Lithuania- said the leader of Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, MEP – Waldemar Tomaszewski, after the Friday’s meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania – Linas Linkevičius.
“It’s very good that certain positive signs indicating a need for resuming a dialogue between Poland and Lithuania have been spotted, but it’s not enough. We need some constructive decisions by the authorities to resolve the problems of Polish society”- said Tomaszewski.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, and leaders of the Electoral Action of Poles: the leader – Waldemar Tomaszewski, the leader of the Electoral Action of Poles fraction in parliament – Rita Tamašunienė, and a president of Polish-Lithuanian parliamentary fraction – Michał Mackiewicz, attended the meeting which took place on the initiative of a chairman of the department.
During the meeting, the problems, that Poles in Lithuania have been wrestling with for years, were discussed. Problems such as: double-naming of streets and cities – where the significant national minority is present, problems concerning Polish education in Lithuania and the spelling of Polish last names in Lithuanian documents, also giving back the land in Vilnius region.
”The talks with the minister showed that the problems of naming, and education can be very quickly resolved by reinstating laws that were applied only few years ago.”- said Tomaszewski
The law on national minorities, which determined using a language of national minority, and allowed a double naming was accepted – as highlights the leader of the Electoral Action of Poles: “during the time of re-gaining the independence in Lithuania on 29 January 1991 under the leadership of the current leader of conservatives – Vytautas Landsbergis” At the beginning of 2010 when conservatives ruled, the law was annulled. So far, in the Parliament, the discussion on a new law concerning the issues of national minorities has not been taken up.
As far as education is concerned, the Lithuanian Parliament accepted a new law, which in view of Polish society, discriminates the Polish school in Lithuania. The law, for example, standardized the “matura” exam covering Lithuanian (subject) in Lithuanian and national minorities schools, even though the curriculum concerning Lithuanian language differs. According to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, the situation of national minorities cannot be deteriorated, and here, we witness a significant slump.”- said Tomaszwski
Tomaszewski was satisfied with the meeting with the minister Linas Linkevičius, before his visit in Warsaw, he, however underlines that “it’s all just words, and we still lack serious steps”.
Tłumaczenie Jacek Malatyński w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Jacek Malatyński the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.