- February 13, 2013
EAPL fights against recourse of minorities’ rights
In a response to a statement on EAPL made by T. Janeliūnas, a lecturer in the Institute of Political Science and International Relations of Vilnius University, it is necessary to emphasise that the party came in for harsh and undeserved criticism due to the fact that it only strives to ensure that all the Lithuanian citizens can lead normal lives and coexist peacefully.
The Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania does not need any conflicts and just quite the opposite: the party does everything to avoid them. EAPL, which acts in its electors’ best interests, only defends itself against a quickly progressing recourse of minorities’ rights; the recourse is obvious:
1) After more than 20 years, the Act on Minorities has been rescinded. It was passed after the January Events in 1991. At that time, national minorities unequivocally supported our pro-independence aspirations. We can call a victory a fact that some individual forces could not organise new conflicts as it was done in Moldova, in Transcaucasia, etc,
2) The Act on Education was amended and therefore, it has reduced minorities’ rights (the educational system had been working properly during the Soviet times and it was accepted by everyone).
T. Janeliūnas mentioned about a tension built in the Lithuanian public life. The most curious thing is, however, that there used to be no tension between the representatives of different nationalities throughout the years since Lithuania regained its independence. The tension appeared suddenly. EAPL presented concrete solutions for the problem of unification of the final school-examination in the state language, signs with dual street names, etc., which would put an end to all tensions. After all, T. Janeliūnas is neither deaf nor blind so he can see it all. A fully justifiable question arises: Who benefits from this tension? If he criticises the party which strives to end the discrimination of particular national minorities, the question arises – for whose benefit is he working and who profits the most from building this tension in Lithuanian society? The initiators of plans to reduce minorities’ rights should come in for harsh criticism: V. Landsbergis, G. Steponavičius, V. Stundys, etc.
The atmosphere of tension is built, above all, by the activist who represent nationalists views. They are “accompanied by” the political parties which lose their electorate and are afraid of the competition from EAPL’s side.
During the last elections to local governments, EAPL achieved staggering results in Vilnius; especially when it is compared to the results of the Liberal Party (no mandate of the councillor) and to the Social Democratic Party (half less mandates of the councillor). EAPL was the first party with the biggest number of mandates in Vilnius Region. The question is: Isn’t it enough to be afraid of EAPL and then do something in order to discredit it?
The question seems to be of rhetoric nature, so the answer is obvious. The Conservative party is also afraid of the competition. EAPL is the political party which not only propagates Christian values but also it is governed by them in everyday life. EAPL is also the party that has never been involved in any political scandals, which are nowadays very common in Lithuania. Because of these and other reasons, the Lithuanians also vote for EAPL and thus, cause dissatisfaction to some groups which seek to change the direction of trends.
Those trite labels are easily removed by EAPL after more and more successful elections: it is supported by the growing number of electors. What also helps is an intensive and devoted to the electors work. That is why, the party is not afraid of old and new labels. We must hope that while giving lectures, T. Janeliūnas does not pass primitive, trite and based on stereotypes theories but encourages the youths to think freely, broadly, constructively and prospectively.
Member of Parliament of the RL on behalf of EAPL
Tłumaczenie Patrycja Olszówka w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Patrycja Olszówka the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.