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Group of Lithuanian MPs ask Vilnius municipality to revoke permit for Polish protest

Lenkų protesto mitingas prie Lietuvos respublikos Seimo
Juliaus Kalinsko / 15min nuotr. / Lenkų protesto mitingas prie Lietuvos respublikos Seimo
Šaltinis: BNS
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Eleven Lithuanian parliamentarians, representing different political groups, have appealed to the Vilnius City Municipality with a request to revoke the permit for the Saturday's rally of the Polish national minority in protest of the Education Law.

"In the light of media reports and other data, there is a possibility that the event may be attended by criminal figures from Poland. Consequently, the protest rally may evolve into a riot, which would strain the already tense relations between Lithuania and Poland, triggering hatred between the two countries and their citizens," the group said in its plea.

Representatives of the Polish national minorities in Lithuania have established a school strike committee and announced plans to hold a protest rally on 17 March to demand for revision of the plans to hold unified graduation examinations.

Organizers of the protest action maintain they have not invited supporters from abroad to join the event, although a Polish nationalist organization Marsz Niepodleglosci (Feat for Independence) has said that a bus-full would come to Vilnius on 17 March, the scheduled date of the protest action.

"The primary goal of our trip is seeing the Lithuanian capital, its heritage and a visit to the Gate of Dawn. We also want to meet with the local Poles who are holding a protest rally that day in an effort to defend the school system. The association Marsz Niepodleglosci is organizing the trip on a single bus from Warsaw," the organization said on its website.

The protest action will be held against the new version of the Education Law passed by Lithuania's Seimas nearly a year ago, which, among other things, stipulates a new teaching scheme of the Lithuanian language in minority schools – teaching of more subjects in Lithuanian and unifying the graduation exam of the Lithuanian language as of 2013.

Nevertheless, the Polish minority demands that the earlier scheme be returned.

Lithuania's government maintains that the new model is among then most moderate in Europe, noting that other countries including Poland had enforced analogous provisions years ago.

BNS
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