- Latvijas Avize interviews representatives of the State Language Centre regarding its recent appeal addressed to Latvian residents to speak at work places in Latvian language only
- Security Police initiated verification of “separatist” messages distributed through social networks
Latvijas Avize interviews representatives of the State Language Centre regarding its recent appeal addressed to Latvian residents to speak at work places in Latvian language only. According to the SLC it is inadmissible that employees fulfilling their work duties communicate with each other in foreign language. The SLC called the employers to hold conversation with employees about the importance of the usage of state language fulfilling professional duties and all the state officials to use Latvian language when giving interviews to mass media. Head of the SLC Maris Baltins says that the message was misunderstood by Russia’s media and even some Latvian officials. He approves that this call is addressed to the state and municipal employees when they, for instance, are solving client’s problem in the presence of the client. But he stresses that it does not mean that employees talking about private affairs “in their offices” cannot use foreign language. Mr Baltins also says that this call is addressed not so much to the ethnic minorities but more to ethnic Latvians calling them to form a corresponding language environment so that ethnic minorities could use their state language proficiency. According to the SLC language control regional department Sarmite Pavulena, the call was made after receiving of a number of complaints that employees in different institutions communication with each other in foreign language. Therefore, as there is no legal regulation forbidding such situation, the SLC came with such statement. According to the SLC, the number of complaints about violation of the State Language law decreased in 2014 – 980 complaints received and 769 persons were punished, including 423 for insufficient state language proficiency usage for fulfilment of professional duties. In 2015, the SLC is planning to conduct inspections in most of the schools.
The Security Police initiated verification of “separatist” messages distributed through social networks, including publication of Latvia’s map on which Latgale region (region in the Eastern part of Latvia) is shown as a separate region called “Latgale People’s Republic.” Also there is a specific Facebook page created called “Latgale People’s Republic.” Popularisation of separatist idea will also be discussed and evaluated by the Saeima’s National Security Committee. Vesti Segodnya
- Saeima forwarded to the Foreign Affairs and Legal Affairs Committees six draft laws on restitution of properties of Jewish organisations
Yesterday, the Saeima forwarded to the Foreign Affairs and Legal Affairs Committees six draft laws on restitution of properties of Jewish organisations. The drafts envision that five buildings (three in Riga, two in Jurmala and Kandava) currently owned by the state will be restored to the Council of Jewish Communities of Latvia. MP Aleksandrs Kirsteins (National Union) criticized the initiative, claiming that Jewish organisations already received 36 properties through restitution, and claiming that the Council of Jewish Communities of Latvia cannot inherit the properties of Latvian citizens, because it was established mostly by persons who migrated to Latvia from countries of the former Soviet Union. Latvijas Avize writes that Jewish Religious Community Shamir was not consulted. Diena, Latvijas Avize, Vesti Segodnya
- Latvian Institute: Latvia needs to use Russian language in communication in order to oppose Russia’s propaganda
- “Anti-fascist” organisations complain about pressure of the Security Police
- Saeima’s Citizenship, Migration and Society Consolidation Committee decided to issue the official statement about observance of mutual respect on 16 March
Director of the Latvian Institute Karina Petersone during conversation with the EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports stated that Latvia needs to use Russian language in communication in order to oppose Russia’s propaganda. The Latvian Institute will try to persuade Latvian authorities in it. Vesti Segodnya
According to Vesti Segodnya, the Security Police started efforts to discredit different Russian-speaking NGOs and human rights defenders; their leaders and activists are labelled “hostile forces endangering national security.” Leaders of self-declared “anti-fascist” organisations “Latvia without Nazism” and Latvian Anti-fascists Committee in Latvia appealed to the President Andris Berzins, Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma, head of the Security Police Normunds Mezvietis, and the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe Nils Muiznieks asking to protect them from pressure of the Security Police. Vesti Segodnya
The Saeima’s Citizenship, Migration and Society Consolidation Committee decided to issue the official statement about observance of mutual respect on 16 March. The aim of the statement would be to call upon Latvian residents, politicians, and journalists to avoid hot debates about the meaning of this day and observe mutual respect. 16 March is unofficial commemoration day of Latvian Waffen SS legionnaires when traditionally former legionnaires and their supporters hold a commemorative events and procession in the centre of Riga and other places. The procession usually is accompanied by loud protests of so-called anti-fascists.
- Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday published its clarification concerning the proposal by the Permanent Delegation of the Russian Federation to UNESCO to arrange an exhibition named “Gone childhood’’ about Salaspils concentration camp
The Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday published its clarification concerning the proposal by the Permanent Delegation of the Russian Federation to UNESCO to arrange an exhibition named “Gone childhood’’ about Salaspils concentration camp within the framework of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. According to it, at the end of 2014, the Russian Delegation came forward with the offer to Latvia’s Delegation to UNESCO to join this event which they were organising. The basis of the proposed exhibition was an exposition organized by Aleksandr Dyukov, director of the Russian Foundation “Historical Memory”, which in Latvia’s opinion, distorted historical facts and provided biased and misleading information that had nothing to do with objective academic research on the Holocaust. Therefore, following consultations with representatives of Latvia, the proposed event was cancelled by the Permanent Delegation of the Russian Federation to UNESCO. The Ministry also stressed that Latvia categorically condemns the Holocaust and commemorates its victims. Latvia also wants to show a documentary “The Controversial History” at UNESCO. The film describes the experiences of Latvia’s inhabitants during the periods of occupation and invites viewers to get to know the survivors of the Holocaust, Salaspils concentration camp survivors and survivors of the Soviet occupation of Latvia, in a balanced way.
- According to Latvijas Avize, a soldier of the National Armed Forces was dismissed from service due to his pro-Russian opinion regarding conflict in Ukraine
- MP Imants Paradnieks: it is blindness to deny the fact that the society is divided
According to Latvijas Avize, a soldier of the National Armed Forces (NAF) was dismissed from service due to his pro-Russian opinion regarding conflict in Ukraine. The soldier openly expressed his opinion in social networks. The Minister of Defence Raimonds Vejonis says that this case is an exception and does not reflect the views of all NAF soldiers about geopolitical events. According to the Commander of the NAF Raimonds Graube, there is a programme on patriotic education of soldiers and they are trained how to analyse information during information war.
Latvijas Avize interviews the MP, one of the leaders of the National Union (NU) Imants Paradnieks. Commenting a statement made by the Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma that Latvian society is not divided, Mr Paradnieks says that it is blindness to deny the division and the question is to what extent the society is divided and how to solve it. He is convinced that there are individuals among Latvian residents who are excepting intervention of Russia to Latvia and it is also important to find out how many there are such people and how to deal with it. Mr Paradnieks believes that the main aim and task of the state is to ensure that there would be always many ethnic Latvians in Latvia.