POLISH SPEAKERS IN VILNIUS

Dateline: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 08:15:39 +1100

Polish MPs Want to Take Revenge on Lithuania

Dateline: WARSAW, Feb 22, BNS

Some Polish lawmakers have called for actions of vengeance on Lithuania for "persecution of Lithuanian Poles" in the country, suggests a record of a Polish parliamentary sitting of Feb. 17.

During a 40-minute discussion about the relations between Lithuania and Poland, about 12 members of the Polish parliament censured the Lithuanian administration for the restriction of the Polish minority in its rights in Lithuania.

"Doesn't the Polish government plan any retaliatory measures with respect to Lithuania?," a member of the Left Democratic Union, Grzegorz Kurczuk, put up a rhetorical question.

"Does the Polish government make the use of the very good Lithuanian-Polish political, economic and military relations as a measure to press Lithuania in order to solve the problem of Lithuanian Poles?," said another deputy of the party, Liongin Pastusiak.

MP Michal Tomasz asked Polish Foreign Minister Radislaw Sikorski if any specific actions are being discussed against the state of Lithuania, which "has been abusing Poland's pliant policy for the past ten years."

The Polish members of parliament who spoke at the sitting leveled accusations at the actions of Lithuanian officials, which, in their opinion, are aimed at limiting the rights of the Polish national minority in Lithuania.

The Polish legislators believe that the persecution of Lithuanian Poles is manifested "for the first time in the history" by the abolition of a compulsory graduation exam of Polish language, unequal status of Lithuanian and Polish schools [* see below], as well as the tardy returning of land to Poles in the Vilnius area.

In response to a number of questions, the Polish foreign minister reiterated that "the problems of Lithuanian Poles are in the focus of the Foreign Ministry's attention."

Sikorski said that an international commission has been established to solve educational problems, adding that "the number of students in Polish schools doubled after Lithuania restored its independence."

The minister stated that "in spite of the existing problems, the situation of Lithuanian Poles is good."


DISCLAIMER: The opinioned express below is that of Gintautas Kaminskas, not Lithuanian Global Resources. We neither endorse or oppose Mr. Kaminskas' position.
If you wish to express your opinion, WRITE THE EDITOR OF LABAS: Bernard Tirva.


1) There are no "Poles" in Lithuania, only Polish-speaking Lithuanian citizens; and most of these are people of pure Lithuanian ancestry whose predecessors were polonised in previous decades.

2) In another generation there will be practically no youngsters in Vilnius speaking Polish as a native language. This is only a natural restoration of the historically Lithuanian character of the Vilnius region.

3) What's the position of Lithuanian schools in the Polish-occupied Suvalkai, Seinai and Punskas districts? And for that matter, how many German schools in Polish-occupied German territory?


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