• March 13, 2014
  • 196

Polish plates ripped in Jaszuny

© Marian Paluszkiewicz

Unknown violators ripped plates with Polish street names at night from 11th to 12th March in Jaszuny (Soleczniki region). Aggrieved owners of the buildings suspect that those were Lithuanian nationalists, who memorialised Dzien Odrodzenia Niepodległości, which is celebrated on March 11th. They also announced that in the place of the old plates, the new ones will be reinserted

“Now I will order bigger writing, maybe even a large banner which I would place on the roof. Next time it will not be so easy for them”, said to “Kurier” Jarosław Pieszko, owner of the shop at Lidzka Street in Jaszuny. Polish placards with a street name disappeared from this shop. Few years ago, at the Dzień Polonii I Polaków za Granicą (May 2nd), Jarosław Pieszko hung a Polish flag in his shop. He received a monition to a police station, where police wanted to give him a fine.

“This affair outraged me then. So I decided to place a placard with street names in my shop in both, Polish and Lithuanian, languages. That was one of the first bilingual plates in Jaszuny. After that other inhabitants started to place the bilingual plates on their properties and noone was disturbed by this”, said our conversationalist. He also noticed, that nowadays, hounding people by Lithuanian media and politicians has resulted in less plates being put.

“Especially elder people are afraid of repressions and they remove placards”, said Jarosław Pieszko. He also noticed that since few months, a hate campaign concernig inhabitants of Jaszuny had last in Lithuanian media, presenting them as an anti-Lithuanian element.

“On March 11th we have also had a descent of reporters. They were riding around the town taking photos of Polish plates”, said our conversationalist. “It is sad, that we live in a country, where people are repressed just because of the usage of a mother tounge.

That is not the first time, when inhabitants of Jaszuny and whole Soleczniki region (Poles in great majority) are attacked by media and politicians because of their nationality.

“It seems that in Lithuania there is a sanctuary, whose administration centre is in Soleczniki. Let call it conventionally a sanctuary of Lithuanian Poles. The law of European Union and the law of local community are obtained in this sanctuary. However, the law of Lithuania, on whose theritory the sanctuary is being placed, is not obtained. The 10th Constitution article does not apply here, which says that »territory of Lithuania is unified and indivisible, from which any public creature cannot arise «, that is why part of Lithuanian territory is trying to be autonomous”, wrote previous MEP Aloyzas Sakalas, one of the leaders of Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, not so long ago.

“I cannot guess who is a violator of this vandalism, but it is not the first time, when Polish placards were ripped from houses of ours inhabitants”, noticed Zofia Graznowa, starost of Jaszuny. She reminds that few years ago in Soleczniki region, shooting of outrageous reality show “I Love Lithuania” took place, where its protagonists were ripping Polish placards from private properties in Ejszyszki (Soleczniki region).

“At the same time plates from some of our houses at Targowa Street also disappeared”, reminds starost. According to her, this time three plates were ripped – two from shops near Lidzka Street and one from a multifamily house near Baliński Street.

Inhabitants and owners of buildings are so accustomed to the bilingual placards, that they did not even realize that they are missing.

Jarosław Pieszko noticed that the plate is missing on March 13th. He immediately called to Jerzy Borkowski, who is an owner of a butcher’s shop and a shop which is at the end of the street. That was the first time when Borkowski noticed a lack of Polish plate.

“Somebody had endeavoured, because plates are placed about three meters above the ground, so without a ladder or a car placed near, nobody would rip it, I am sure”, said Jerzy Borkowski. Only Polish plate was ripped, as he said. The Lithuanian one remained. Meanwhile, in Jarosław Pieszko’s shop not only Polish but also Lithuanian plate was ripped. It happened because they were connected.

“Certainly, that was deliberate action, because violator had to have a ladder and a screwdriver. He was prepared”, pointed out Pieszko.

According to Borkowski, true authors of this vandalism are Lithuanian politicians who goad society.

“They have not done it by themselves, but for certain, they did not have problems with drawing violators in”, noticed Borkowski.

Firstly, the shop owners thought, that those were region administrations, hounded by Lithuanian media and politicians, who decided to remove Polish plates from private properties.

“We certainly have not done that and we will not”, denied starost Grazniowa. She also added, that she noticed the missing of plates on March 12th, but she thought, that the owners of the shops took them by themselves.

“We would never do that”, they answered in concert. They do not know yet, whether they will notify the police about the incident.

“It is waste of time, because they will not establish anything”, said Borkowski.

“For certain they will not find the violators, but it cannot be forgotten, because they will gain a prod to further actions”, noticed Pieszko and promised, that he will notify the property damage to police, at least as a matter of form.

Source: http://kurierwilenski.lt/2014/03/13/w-jaszunach-pozrywano-polskie-tabliczki/

Tłumaczenie by Beata Kanadys w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Beata Kanadys within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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