• June 19, 2014
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National minorities in Lithuania deceived again

National minorities in Lithuania, including Polish minority, felt disappointed again. As we have already informed, today the Lithuanian Seimas was supposed to consider two drafts of the Law on Spelling of Names and Surnames as well as a draft of the Law on National Minorities. However, the drafts were removed from agenda at the last minute.

Social democrats who drew up one of the drafts of the Law on Spelling of Names and Surnames also voted in favor of removing the drafts from agenda. Their draft provides that it is permitted to spell surnames on the first page of a passport in original form using Latin alphabet. Social democrats promised several times that the drafts would be considered as soon as possible. Polish people in Lithuania have been waiting for the drafts to be adopted for years.

The deputies of the faction of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania (EAPL) find it outrageous that the coalition partners did not keep their word again and ignored repeated requests to consider favorably the drafts that are important to the national communities in Lithuania, including Polish community.

„People who deceive others are traitors” – the deputy head of the Seimas representing EAPL, Jarosław Narkiewicz, commented on removing the drafts of the Law on National Minorities and the Law on Spelling of Names and Surnames from agenda.

The deputy representing EAPL, Zbigniew Jedziński, believes the fact that the matters important to the national minorities are looked upon with disfavor by certain deputies shows that they are afraid of losing some of their electors.

„It shows that most deputies are extremely afraid even to discuss that matter. Why does the law enabling national minorities to live with dignity arouse such a strong opposition in a “democratic” and European country as Lithuania is referred to? Only experienced psychiatry would probably be able to answer this question” – the deputy says with irony and adds: “To understand the reasons for that situation I would like to quote a statement of the deputy, the representative of the Labor Party. She said she could not vote in favor of the draft since the electors of a single-member constituency represented by this deputy are “far” from Europe and are strongly opposed to that draft. It does not make any sense to comment on the rest of ridiculous arguments against” – the deputy explains.

According to Z. Jedziński, by doing so the deputies yield to pressure exerted by the electors with nationalistic views.

„Deputies yield to pressure exerted by the electors with nationalistic views to protect their position in the Seimas, even if they are aware of ridiculousness of their attitude. Only some of them who won the utmost respect of electors can vote in accord with their conscience and common sense” – the deputy representing EAPL wrote on Facebook.

Just a few days ago, on June 6th, the representatives of the Lithuanian ruling coalition stated they would not prevent a proposal to spell names and surnames on the first page of identity document in original form using Latin alphabet from being validated.

On the same day the coalition partners promised EAPL that the Law on National Minorities in the version of 1991 would be adopted in parliament’s current session.

In Lithuania there is no Law on National Minorities since the one that was in force for 20 years expired on January 1st, 2010.

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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