- June 25, 2014
Jarosław Narkiewicz: „Lithuanian language protection” is to cover the negative effects of the introduction of the euro in 2015, indeed?
The statement of Jarosław Narkiewicz, the vice chairman of the parliament, was delivered in the behalf of the AWPL fraction during parliament plenary session at 19thjune 2014.
Dear Members of the Parliament,
Today, once again, the parliament did not dare to openly take care of the legal documents, which are important for Lithuanian citizens:
The Act of National Minorities, which aims at restoring the rights that national minorities were entitled to before the 2010, and, what should be pointed out, these rights did not resulted in disintegration of the country, and the project of the Act of the Names and Surnames Spelling in ID Documents.
Starting from 31thDecember 2009 the rights of about 20% of Litheuanian citizens have been not only limited and diminished but, what is more, even financial repressions against representatives of the national minorities were applied. Appropriate institutions have been documenting such situations in their reports.
During the last term of office, governing conservatives and liberals had canceled the Act of the National Minorities, and by that they established a new law system that enables authorities to apply the financial repressions against Lithuanian citizens. At 23thDecember 2013 a horrendous fine amounting to 43 400 litos was imposed on Bolesław Daszkiewicz, the nonadministrative director of the Solecznicki Region’s self-government, for not executing the order to remove, in the one month, signs with the streets names form certain private properties in the Solecznicki region.
In the right time, certainly wanting to impress the others with the image of righteous representatives of all the citizens, members of the leftist party went into the election with clearly formulated political program.
Citizens put their’s trust in them, and in the election they expressed the highest support. The newly established governing majority accepted the Government program, in which more modesty and narrowly but still aspirations and concrete actions that aim at not only reestablishing but also extension of national minorities rights are reflected. I am going to quote from chapter X of Government program for I. 2012-2016:
X. NATIONAL COMMUNITIES
245. We shall solve the problems of cultural development of national communities by preparing long term strategies; we shall create good conditions for satisfying cultural needs of national minorities.
246. We shall elaborate a project of an RL Act of National Minorities. A special department shall be given the responsibilities of representing national minorities. We shall solve the problem of names and surnames spelling in ID documents, and spelling of street names, all of this shall be done on the basis of European Council’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
247. We shall support cultural centers of which national communities take advantages.
248. We shall conduct the reorganization of the national minorities’ school network (schools with Russian and Polish teaching language) taking into account interests of communities, on the basis of school efficiency.
249. We shall strive for postponing the date of state Lithuanian language exam for non Lithuanian high school graduates.
250. We Shall increase the support for preserving the cultural heritage of national minorities and its usage for tourism, traditional crafts and traditional forms of activity.
In the meantime, after almost two years of cooperation certain promises of executing this program are being replaced by another ones. The example of conservatives and RL President’s mockery of differed working groups covered also the newly formed working group which aim was to prepare a new Act of National Minorities. Modern, progressive edition of the Act was meant to be prepared quickly and efficiently. During the 4 months, that passed after its appointment, any meeting of its members did not take place, however they did not dare to send their project of the Act of Names and Surnames Spelling to the first reading.
I think that, recently, voters had an opportunity to evaluate the efficiency of the execution of the promises that were made.
On the other hand, the conservative’s representatives are determined to even deteriorate often diminished national minorities’ rights.
Today, 19thJune, during the siting of the committee conservatives’ suggestions concerning the rights of national minorities were approved. Coalition partners did not dare to stand against this, thus they do not obey the provisions of approved Government program.
The conclusion which comes to mind is that, in the issues of national minorities, partners – social-democrats – are inclined to indirectly support the conservatives. It seems that, alike during the previous term of office, it is planed to even deteriorate, with the help of conservatives, the rights of national minorities, which are narrowing by applying the above-mentioned financial repressions.
It is understandable that during the previous term of office conservatives, in order to cover pensions and other payments cuts and generally decreasing living conditions, tried to direct citizens’ attention to supposed protection of Lithuanians, despite the lack of any threat from national minorities: at both times now and then.
Is that so “protection of Lithuanian language” is meant to be the sheet to cover the negative effects of Euro introduction in 2015?
I would like to note that in present geopolitical situation these actions are extremely dangerous. Safety of the whole country, at first, depends on the safety of the citizens, on securing their rights. Any tanks from foreign, even friendly, country are not able to guarantee safety, if the state would not respect the citizens.
In any case, we, representatives of AWPL, are determined to continue our actions. We speak openly about our aspirations to represent economical and other interests of all citizens.
We will be striving for restoring the Act of National Minorities on Lithuania, it should at least provide the rights which were guaranteed by the Act of National Minorities before 2010. We will be striving for execution of the whole Government program.
Vice chairman of the RL Parliament Jarosław Narkiewicz.
Translated by Marcin Słoma within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.