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Poland's president Bronislaw Komorowski to visit Lithuanian community in Punsk

Lenkijos prezidentas Bronislawas Komorowskis
„Reuters“/„Scanpix“ nuotr. / Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski
Šaltinis: BNS
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The Lithuanian community in Poland expects to receive Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, who intends to visit the Punks Lithuanian community next week.

Punsk elder Vytautas Liskauskas told BNS Komorowski would attend a Lithuanian-language mass on 27 April and later meet with the local community and organizations.

"We would like to discuss education issues, insufficient funding for Lithuanian schools, textbook problems and the problem of Berznyk monument with the president. We expect to address happier topics as well," said Liskauskas.

According to punskas.pl portal, Komorowski will lay flowers on a monument to Lithuanian guerrillas killed by Russia's Internal Affairs Commissariat, meet with the local community and visit two Lithuanian-language schools in Punsk.

Lithuanians living in Poland have lately expressed fears that they do not feel safe and are hostages to Lithuanian-Polish bilateral relations.

After meeting with OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Knut Vollebaek last month, chairman of the local Lithuanian community Algirdas Vaicekauskas said that "there's a lack of tolerance in Poland and bad ethnic minority atmosphere is being formed."

Last year, bilingual location signs were covered with paint in Punsk and two monuments for Lithuanian artists were vandalized.

The Lithuanian community is also concerned over the fact that new monuments are erected in Berzniki, Sejny, which incite conflicts between Polish and Lithuanian people and humiliate Lithuanian soldiers, killed during the Polish-Lithuanian conflict in 1920 and buried in the local cemetery.

According to data provided by Lithuania's Embassy in Poland, around 15,000 people of Lithuanian origin live in Poland, mainly in Sejny and Punsk near the Lithuanian-Polish border.

BNS
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