- October 8, 2015
Lithuanian newspaper accuses, Polish embassy rectifies
Pac Palace in Vilnius, building in Vilnius Old Town, Šv. Jonų street has been a Polish property for almost 8 years. Ultimately, the building will be allocated to various diplomatic institutions. Before that happens, the historic building has to be completely renovated. The works have not yet been started but the issue is already controversial. A daily newspaper Lietuvos Rytas wrote that for the time of the renovation the nearby playground, set up thanks to the residents of the Old Town, will be liquidated. In the place where now stands a [children’s] roundabout, building materials are to be stored.
„The Polish embassy is going to wipe out the playgound that is especially favoured by children and their parents living in the Old Town. [The embassy] sent a letter to the local self-government, in which it threatened to cut off the lights if the playground was not removed by 31st October. The renovation works of the Pac Palace in Šv. Jonų street will be started soon as it is going to be a new location for the Polish embassy. Diplomats are not interested in the fact that not far from the playground there is a parking where building materials can be stored in a way more convenient for everyone. They can also be stored in the inner courtyard. But no, the embassy really needs the place where children love to come. After the renovation there are plans to plant bushes and trees, so that the children have nowhere to play”, wrote Lietuvos Rytas.
The Polish embassy in Lithuania issued a rectification on that matter.
„The Polish embassy in Lithuania wishes to express its regret and disappointment caused by the article published by Lietuvos Rytas on 4th October 2015 and written by A. Dumalakas titled „At the whim of Poles a playgound in Vilnius will be liquidated”. The embassy gives great importance to keeping contact with the Lithuanian media. Therefore we are surprised and saddened by the fact that the author of the article did not try to contact us to discuss the matter and determine the basic information concerning the organisation of the works near the above mentioned playground. The permission [for the proceedings] of the city of Vilnius nr 49PSR-37 was dated on day 11th Jan 2012, so the authorities were aware of the further plans for this place when they were building the playground. In this respect, information concerning the conditions of issuing the permit to build a playground shall be given by the authorities of the Vilnius city. Acting in the rule of law, the embassy is going to exercise its right given by the authorities of the city if Vilnius. Leaving all the procedural and legal matters, we wish to highlight the issue of safety during construction works. Leaving the playground in the current location – that is near heavy equipment running, and workers moving around construction elements – would pose a serious threat for children’s and parents’ safety. We wish to point out that lighting in the playground was installed in the Pac Palace’s area at the Polish embassy’s expense and from the second half of 2012 is being lent free of charge for the citizens’ comfort, what indicates that the Polish embassy has a good will to cooperate with the residents. We also wish to express our regret in view of the tendentious article that aimed at besmirching the Polish embassy’s good name”, the statement says.
Based on: wilno.msz.gov.pl, lrytas.lt
Translated by Klaudia Chmura within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.