MPs of Lithuania and Poland as well as Members of the European Parliament protecting Dieveniškės inhabitants

2021-07-20, 08:26
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Last Monday, on 19th July, local residents of Dieveniškės met with the Member of the Polish Parliament Anna Maria Siarkowska, Member of the Lithuanian Parliament Česlav Olševski and Member of the European Parliament Valdemar Tomaševski. The meeting concerned the outrageous attempt of the conservative-liberal coalition to establish a centre for about a thousand Islamic economic migrants in the centre of the town. It has to be mentioned that an extraordinary session of the Šalčininkai District Self-Government Council took place on 16th July where Councillors unanimously opposed the idea to establish the centre for immigrants in Dieveniškės. However, Minister Arvydas Anušauskas ignored the decision of the Council and the will of the inhabitants and is still trying to impose his plan.

Concerns of residents

Česlava Marcinkevič, the starost of Dieveniškės, said that everyone is really concerned about the future of the town. And it is difficult to get any answers from the government - When? Who? How? Why? Therefore, Dieveniškės residents try to fight for their rights themselves. They have already met with the Šalčininkai District Mayour Zdzislav Palevič and the Member of the Lithuanian Parliament Beata Petkevič. Moreover, a self-defence committee was also established, whose members picketed last Monday at the Ministry of the Interior.

Solidarity and determination

Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Chairman of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuanian - Christian Families Alliance (EAPL) and Association of Poles in Lithuania Valdemar Tomaševski introduced other guests who came to support Dieveniškės - Member of the Polish Parliament Anna Maria Siarkowska, MEP of the VI legislature Bogusław Rogalski, Member of the Lithuanian Parliament Česlav Olševski, Councillor of the Vilnius District Edmund Šot, Councillor of the Šalčininkai District Jaroslav Voitechovič and Priest Ryszard Halwa, editor of the portal.

‘We will try to gather even more of our supporters, and we have quite a lot of them,’ said Tomaševski. He also informed, that he talked to the Chief of the Chancellery Michał Dworczyk who ensured him, that he would talk to the Prime Minister Morawiecki who in turn would talk to the Prime Minister of Lithuania.

Tomaševski underlined, that this situation has to change, as this is pure politics. He also congratulated on the establishment of the self-defence committee because, as he emphasized, the determination of the local residents is very important.

‘I want to clearly state, that we will do our best to protect you. We will not allow for this lawlessness. We will fight for your rights,’ said the leader of the Polish community Valdemar Tomaševski.

‘Poland will not leave you alone’

Member of the Polish Parliament Anna Maria Siarkowska emphasized that while providing assistance to Lithuania in connection with the migration crisis, Poland had no idea that the migrants were to be located in areas densely inhabited by the Polish national minority. ‘Such decision can greatly destabilize life in this place,’ said Siarkowska. She also expressed her understanding for the anxiety of the Dieveniškės residents. Siarkowska ensured, that Poland will not leave Dieveniškės alone.

Support of EAPL-CFA

Member of the Lithuania Parliament Česlav Olševski assured the support of all the deputies of EAPL-CFA. ‘We will keep talking about this problem. Recently, we have sent a letter to the President of Lithuania. Let him react the way a president should react, because things are really not going well. But we will keep going forward despite all the forces that are acting against us. According to Olševski, since the power in Lithuania is exercised by conservative and liberal parties, the mayors of these groups should deploy migrants in their local governments.

National minorities under special protection

MEP of the VI legislature Bogusław Rogalski, Chairman of the Union of Christian Families, assured of his support and confirmed that the situation is difficult and dangerous, as he has been working in the European Parliament for years and sees what the uncontrolled placement of migrants has led to in countries such as Greece and Germany. ‘As a community, you have the right to stand up for your own safety, for your families, for your land and for your town. Nobody can impose on you any solutions that you do not accept here, because it is inconsistent with international law, and especially with the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, which says that the areas where a national minority lives must be treated in an exceptional way and the population living there must be subject to special protection,’ said Rogalski. He also assured that he would do everything to publicize this issue, he would inform all MEPs about the situation in the Vilnius Region and about the discriminatory actions of the Lithuanian government that are inconsistent with the protection of national minorities.

Farmers ready to fight for a common cause

Councillor of the Šalčininkai District Jaroslav Voitechovič (from EAPL-CFA) assured of the support of local farmers, who are ready to be on duty and organize road blockades to prevent migrants from being transported to the area of Dieveniškės.

Priest Ryszard Halwa blessed all those gathered. He also declared his willingness to help the inhabitants of Dieveniškės. ‘Although we cannot join this protest here with you, we will do it in Poland,’ declared the Priest.

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