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Published: 22 april 2013 14:32

Protest against Polish party's national minority policies planned in Vilnius

Lenkų protesto akcija Vilniuje
Irmanto Gelūno / 15min nuotr. / Lithuania's Polish-speaking citizens staged a protest last year.

A protest rally is planned in Vilnius on Sunday to protest some of the policy demands put forward by one of the ruling parties, the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania (LLRA).

The party, representing Lithuania's Polish-speaking minority, has demanded to allow bilingual signs in districts dominated by Polish-speaking population; using original non-Lithuanian spelling of personal names in documents; and easier Lithuanian language exams for national minority school graduates.

An open invitation to participate in the event outside the parliament building has been signed by a number of public figures, including Independence Act signatories, writers, actors, journalists, and scientists.

One of the organizers, Independence Act signatory Romualdas Ozolas said: "If the indulgent Lithuanian administration implements all of the LLRA demands, the Lithuanians and other citizens of national minorities living in eastern Lithuania will be de facto transformed into a discriminated and oppressed minority."

"The main requirement we have for this ruling coalition – it should not violate Lithuanian laws and abide by the principles envisaged in the Constitution. First of all, the official status of the Lithuanian language should be preserved, and the foreign policies should be adequate and in line with the interests of Lithuania. (...) We speak for preservation of the official language and territorial integrity of the state," another organizer, Paulius Stonis, told BNS.

He said it would be a "national protest rally". Organizers expect 4,000 people to come.

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