• February 2, 2015
  • 281

Lithuania celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Act on the state language – an unfavorable for minorities

5th February, on Thursday, the Sejm Committee on matters of education, science and culture, along with the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language organizing a conference on the 20th anniversary of the State Language Act.

Participation in the conference announced Loreta Graužinienė Marshal of the Sejm, Chair of the Committee on matters of education, science and culture Audronė Pitrėnienė and Culture Minister Šarūnas Birutis.

President of the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language Dr. Daiva Vaišnienė twentieth conference will assess the state language policy, the head of the State Language Inspectorate Donatas Smalinskas will talk about the status of the state language in the early years of independence of Lithuania, a signatory of the Act of Independence of Lithuania Bronislavas Genzelis will give a lecture on the Lithuanian language as a constitutional value.

Law on the state language Lithuanian Parliament adopted 31 January 1995. According to the Act, any words in the Republic of Lithuania can be placed only in the state language. The Act introduced an exception only for the names of organizations of national communities and their title information – except that, as the Law says, “format string in another language can not be greater than the string in the state language.”

The provisions of this Act were contrary to the provisions adopted in the 1991 years of the Law on National Minorities (which expired in 2010, and – in spite of repeated treatments Polish community – has not been restored so far). The Law on National Minorities guarantee representatives of national minorities in Lithuania the right to public use of their languages in administrative offices and the inscriptions of information.

Any doubts in this respect the authorities and courts treat in favor of strict laws on the state language.

At the end of last year. The Lithuanian parliament in the first reading, supported the proposal to give the Act on the status of the state language of the constitutional law. This step will further enhance the status of the Lithuanian language, which is one of the most protected languages in the world.

The conference will begin at 10.00 am in the Hall of the Constitution of the Diet. Conference will be streamed via the website parliament and on television.

Registration of people willing to participate in the conference last for hours. 16.00 on Monday, February 2nd. Registration is done electronically (vlkk@vlkk.lt) and by phone: (8 5) 272 3358.

Translated by Michał Sadowski within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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