- February 25, 2013
Landsbergis accused of instigating
A member of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania (EAPL), Wanda Krawczonok, accuses one of the leaders of Lithuanian conservatives, MEP Vytautas Landsbergis, of demonstrating contempt for Poles and of incitement to national hatred. On Monday, the awpl.lt web portal informed that Krawczonok had brought the case before the public prosecutor’s office.
“I apply for initiating criminal procedure on the basis of a nationalistic act committed by V. Landsbergis, which constituted discrimination and contempt towards the Polish as well as incitement to national hatred,” wrote Krawczonok in her application to the Prosecutor General last week.
She meant the public speech of Vytautas Landsbergis on February 16th during the 95th anniversary of the Lithuanian Rebirth, when the politician talked about his intention to close down three small Lithuanian schools in Poland. “In five years we will celebrate the 100th anniversary (Of the Lithuanian Rebirth – PAP). What will we have achieved by then? Perhaps we will pride ourselves on closing the last Lithuanian school in Sejny, beyond the internal European border? We understand that our neighbouring country is not wealthy or fully functional, but maybe our government will allot a few million for Poland and its citizens,” said Landsbergis. According to Krawczonok the main objective of this “contemptuous announcement” was to “evoke a feeling of discontent over the situation of Lithuanians in Poland” and “even to encourage negative attitude towards Polish schools in Lithuania.” Krawczonok believes that the speech “provoked national conflicts” and “instigated national hatred between Lithuanians and the Polish minority.”
This year, municipal authorities intend to close down three Lithuanian schools in Polish rural areas, attended by 46 pupils in total. “Vytautas Landsbergis knows perfectly well that these schools are not subject to the Central Government of the Republic of Poland, but to Vytautas Landsbergis, a Lithuanian Vogt, and to the Town Council of Puńsk, where 13 out of 15 councillors are Lithuanian,” states Krawczonok’s application. She also mentions that “funds for minority schools in Poland are 150 per cent higher, whereas in Lithuania – only 120 per cent.”
Tłumaczenie Aleksandra Christ w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Aleksandra Christ the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.