• March 31, 2014
  • 143

LRT wants to do away with the programs for national minorities? LRT: “That is not true”

BFL/Tomas Urbelionis

The information that the national public broadcasting company LRT wants to do away with a block program for national minorities appeared in Lithuanian press. The station dismisses accusations and claims that it is planned to foster the programs in the Lithuanian language.

 “Last week the Board of the National Radio and Television LRT (A. Siaurusevičius and R. Pelackis) ordered their subordinate R. Maskoliunas to do away with all of the programs for national minorities. They did it unofficially, probably suspecting what the reactions of a part of the society will be. According to the speculations, by doing so, LRT saves allegedly the national public broadcasting company’s money which the company was running short of in the middle of a financial year for no apparent reason. After doing away with these programs, LRT will save as much as 6,000 litas” – Donatas Valančiauskas, a writer, a political activist and a former Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Culture wrote in his comment for “Lietuvos žinios”.

According to D. Valančiauskas, such an attitude of the Board is not compliant with international obligations. “It is really good money. So good that it is not necessary to pay attention to the EU, OSCE and other international organizations’ documents signed and ratified by our country under which national minorities shall be protected, their situation shall not deteriorate and they shall have the right to information in their mother tongue. However, how can we call a situation, in which since 2007 the funds for these programs have been reduced fourfold and the time designated for them ­­– twofold?” – the commentator emphasized.

The Board of LRT dismisses all of the accusations. “That is not true. Everything stays as it was till now. Where do these speculations come from? I don’t know. You better ask those who disseminate them” – Rolandas Maskoliūnas, Director of Television Programs said to zw.lt.

LRT broadcasts programs for Poles, Russians, Belorussians, Ukrainians and Jews.

Today the Board of LRT had a meeting with the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė. After the meeting, the President’s press secretary passed the head of state’s words on, saying that “it is not permitted to give unreliable information and to cheat the society”. “Now, in the face of danger, the head of state emphasized that we should foster public broadcasting and provide the society with reliable information” – the press secretary Daiva Ulbinaitė said after the meeting.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of LRT Audrius Siaurusevičius, both parties wanted to have a meeting. “It was mentioned that the President understood the situation and that appropriate funds should be provided. (…) If you believe that negotiations are conducted, you are wrong. The President expressed her opinion and that matters. The President does not divide money” – A. Siaurusevičius said.

However, he added that it was planned to foster the programs in the official language. “We are going to foster thoroughly the programs in the Lithuanian language” – the CEO of LRT added.

Source: http://zw.lt/litwa/lrt-chce-zamknac-programy-dla-mniejszosci-narodowych-lrt-nieprawda/

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

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