- January 15, 2014
Waldemar Tomaszewski’s conversation with Dalia Grybauskaitė
On Tuesday 14 January the President of the Republic of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaitė accused the leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, Waldemar Tomaszewski of discrediting Lithuania on an international scale. After this statement Tomaszewski had a chance to talk to the President but he didn’t reveal how she replied to his accusations.
“I always talk with all the politicians, I am an open person and I believe that we have to talk even if our opinions differ. However, the President Dalia Grybauskaitė does not want to hear other opinions. If she does not want to acknowledge other opinions and believes that there is only one truth, that’s the President’s problem. Those time are long gone. There is no such thing as one truth anymore. The facts speak for themselves – people are discriminated even if they have inhabited the land for a long, long time.” – said Tomaszewski.
When asked about what he said to the President he replied that he demanded that the President stopped lying.
“The President said that no international institution ascertained that Lithuania breaks international norms concerning the protection of national minorities. This statement is far from being true since there were many such organizations: human rights organizations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) mentioned the situation of minority groups. I approached the President and said that she shouldn’t mislead people and lie because such documents do exist.” – Tomaszewski added.
The politician did not reveal what the President replied to those accusations: “because she would be very ashamed if I did.”
On Tuesday Tomaszewski spoke in the European Parliament, representing the European Conservatives and Reformists party (ECR), about the recent events in Lithuania – when people who hung up bilingual street signs in Šalčininkai District Municipality were fined 43 thousands Lt.
“Unfortunately, recent outrageous events in Lithuania aimed at national minorities left a bad impression and became the fly in the ointment of Lithuanian presidency. The fight with national minorities’ languages, supported by the highest authorities, is a manifestation of an extreme nationalism which shouldn’t occur in the European Union.” – said Tomaszewski, cited in the ECR’s announcement.
In her speech, the President Dalia Grybauskaitė replied to Tomaszewski’s accusations as follows:
“Personally to Mr Tomaszewski: I think that your personal and political goal is to discredit Lithuania in Lithuania itself, here in this building, and on an international scale.” – said Grybauskaitė in the European Parliament.
Tłumaczenie by Kinga Zinser w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Kinga Zinser within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.