- October 3, 2014
Court decision carried out – plates in place
“All bilingual plates with names of streets which were put on private houses in the Šalčininkai District Municipality are still there”, said the head of the administration department of the self-government body of the Šalčininkai District Municipality Józef Rybak, ending all speculations which turned up in the media after yesterday’s court sitting in Druskienniki.
Yesterday ( 2nd October), the representative of the government of the Vilnius district Audrius Skaistys informed the BNS agency, that in the Šalčininkai District Municipality there are already no more bilingual inscriptions, and the self-government submitted adequate proofs of that to the regional court in Druskienniki. The evidence consists of plates with names of streets which turned up recently in Ejszyszki and Podborze. Also, traffic signs with names of streets in national language placed on pavements. 16 photographs showing those plates were given by the self-government body as evidence of carrying out the court decision.
Considering the fact that evidence was submitted, the court has no grounds for persecuting the self-government body. In accordance with the law self-government bodies have an obligation of tagging the streets in national language by placing traffic signs, as the self-government of the Šalčininkai District Municipality did.
However, self-government authorities aren’t authorized to interfere in the private property. Therefore, on the streets appeared and still will appear traffic signs with names of streets in Lithuanian language, placed by the self-government body. Residents can hang bilingual plates on private houses, according to the Convention on the protection of national minorities which authorizes residents to put plates on one’s own estate in language accepted by one.
“In Ejszyszki, where there is the street of John Paul II, one of the private houses has a plate with the image of the Pope written in Polish and in a Lithuanian. Some plates are with the Ejszyszki coat of arms or the Šalčininkai one. It is a private property. I won’t be taking down those boards and interfering, because I don’t have the right to it. However, I will carry out what is assigned to me as the head of the administration department of the self-government body – I will place road plates with names of streets in national language”, says Józef Rybak.
According to the law, the plate on the pavement has priority before the plate on the house. Therefore, the court decision was carried out and the matter of drawing the head of the administration department of the self-government body to the financial accountability would have to be withdrawn.
Translated by Anna Wójcik within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.