Seimas not to rush with Natl Minority Law, name-spelling – Speaker

Orthodox Christmas in Vilnius
DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

After meeting with representatives of national minority groups on Friday, he could not specify whether the parliament would this year open the name-spelling initiative or the National Minority Law.

“Before proposing it, we have to analyze what has been achieved, dot all the i’s and coordinate it with the communities, as they also say they have numerous proposals and that some of the chapters are already not in line with their interests. (…) There is some disappointment that the (National Minority) law still hasn’t been approved,” the parliamentary speaker told BNS.

In his words, discussions are underway with lawyers on revision of the wording of the law – it should be titled the Law on National Communities.

Pranckietis emphasized that the issue of spelling of non-Lithuanian names had been raised by more than just Poles living in Lithuania but also members of the local Russian community who want their names transcribed in Latin characters but in the original version, for instance, with some dual letters. The issue is also relevant for Lithuanians, as well – Lithuanian courts have already ruled in favor of a few Lithuanian citizens on original spelling of their foreign names in birth and marriage certificates, as well as passports.

Lithuania has not had a law on national minorities since the last version lost effect in 2010.

According to the last general census of 2011, residents of 154 nationalities reside in Lithuania, with Lithuanians accounting for 84.2 percent of the population and other nationalities for 15.8 percent.

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