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Lithuanian Poles' choice of date for protesting too suggestive?

Lenkų protesto mitingas prie Lietuvos respublikos Seimo
Liudo Dapkaus/15min.lt nuotr. / The demonstration comes in the wake of failed bilateral talks about Polish minority schools in Lithuania.
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The Polish community in Lithuania has been compelled to deny that a forthcoming protest about the autonomy of minority schools was deliberately chosen on the anniversary of a painful episode between the two nations.

Lithuanian daily Lietuvos Zinios had pointed out that the protest, set for 17 March, is the same date of the so-called Polish ultimatum to Lithuania (1938), during which the Lithuanian government was compelled to normalise diplomatic relations with Poland.

Lithuania had broken off relations with Warsaw in 1920, after Poland seized the disputed city of Vilnius, together with the surrounding region. Both countries had re-emerged in 1918 following over a hundred years of occupation by foreign powers.

Waldemar Tomaszewski (or Valdemaras Tomaševskis), an MEP and the leader of Lithuania's Electoral Action for Poles party, has said that the date of this Saturday's protest is coincidental.

The demonstration comes in the wake of failed bilateral talks about Polish minority schools in Lithuania.

As of 1 September 2011, a law has been enforced by Vilnius to the effect that History and Geography lessons must be taught in Lithuanian, regardless of whether the school is for ethnic minorities.

Likewise, as of 2013, all schoolchildren in the country will be geared towards taking a final pre-university exam in Lithuanian, thus enabling them to study at local universities.

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