- June 11, 2013
Politicians comment on the president’s speech: „The concern for the language is not properly oriented.”
„For some time now Grybauskaite presents a fully biased position regarding the Lithuanian language exam.” says Jarosław Narkiewicz, vice-chairman of the Seimas from the AWPL (Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania). „The concern for the language is not properly oriented.” said, in turn, a social democrat Gediminas Kirkilas, member of Parliament of Lithuania, co-president of the Polish-Lithuanian Parliamentary Assembly.
Politicians comment on the annual speech of the president Dalia Grybauskaite, in which she stated inter alia that the Lithuanian language became a hostage of the political arrangements of the governing coalition.
„The president’s assessment wasn’t a surprise for me. For some time now Grybauskaite presents a fully biased position regarding the Lithuanian language exam, she didn’t even wait for the court’s decision. I was impressed however with the fact that the president pays a lot of attention to the role of the mather tongue as well as her identity and culture. This was the keynote and it applies to all citizens of Lithuania, not only those just talking in the national language. Therefore, I think that the strategic values of the mother tongue are an optimistic sign. We can build on that to preserve our own mother tongue” said J. Narkiewicz.
In the meantime, the social democrat Gediminas Kirkilas emphasizes that the president’s concern for the language is not properly oriented.
„The governing coalition has a clearly defined opinion on the subject, which we have often expressed. The president may have obviously a different opinion. However, it is hard for me to understand this reasoning. In my opinion, we need to take care of the Lithuanian language through education, increased work with young people, also Lithuanian young people. I personally had a very good teacher of Lithuanian language at school, thanks to that I now speak and write Lithuanian properly. However, the fact that Lithuanian citizens will be able to use in certain circumstances the mother tongue next to the national lanaguage, doesn not constitute a risk to the Lithuanian values” says the MP.
According to G. Kirkilas, president’s statements on the threats to the Lithuanian language will also draw attention of politicians in Poland. „It is difficult to predict what will be the comments on the Polish side. In this case, I can only speak for myself. The Social Democrats have always considered Poland as a strategic partner and we are doing everything to improve our bilateral relations. Currently, this improvement is more and more visible. Unfortunately, some politicians may have different views on neighborly relations.” stated G. Kirkilas.
Tłumaczenie by Justyna Kaczmarek w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Justyna Kaczmarek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.