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Discrimination of citizens on language basis is betrayal of national interests of the country

Author : Vasyl Nimchenko

Of course, the question of the Ukrainian language is very important. However, we cannot close our eyes to the fact that the draft amendments to the law on language are nothing but a way to divert attention from what the current government is trying to pass in parliament. Renaming, defining vectors, declaring, introducing discord is a usual thing for it. And all this is realized, as a rule, in the "big dates" (for example, presidential elections)
21:43, 9 April 2019

 

112 Agency


So, as a result of the adoption of the law "On Education", relations between Kyiv and Budapest have already been damaged. There is political and diplomatic discord due to the infringement of the rights of national minorities and the indulgence of Ukrainian nationalists. But Kyiv, ignoring the prospect of being "banned" by NATO and the EU, continues to promote the idea of impairing the Ukrainian language against the background of the development of minority languages, in particular Russian. In fact, it’s a try to somehow distract attention from the failures in the economy, total devastation and the fact that the population is literally fleeing the country.

By the way, doubts that the Ukrainian language is the only state language, arise only among the ideologists of national radicalism. It is worth noting that representatives of civil society with Ukrainian passports in no way claim to have letters not from Ukrainian alphabet in their names and surnames. But, for example, in Lithuania, where the Polish community for the third decade has been fighting for the right not to change the names of the female and male families according to the spelling rules of the Lithuanian language, such a problem exists. Of course, this does not add privileges to the Lithuanian government from the Council of Europe Advisory Committee under the Convention on the Rights of National Minorities (ACFC / OP / IV (2018) 004). But Lithuania, being a full-fledged EU member, "can afford" not to reckon with the democratic demands of the Council of Europe, arguing that the provisions of the Charter of Regional Languages and Languages of National Minorities are contrary to the Constitution of the country. At the same time, Article 4 of the Law of the Republic of Latvia “On the State Language” provides that the state gives support, protection and development to the Latvian language as the language of the indigenous (autochthonous) population.

Ukraine’s position looks rather strange, especially since in 2014 the ideologists of national radicalism shout that they will “test” all laws for compliance with the highest principles of democracy exclusively through the Venice Commission. Today, the Law of Ukraine "On Education", which infringes on the rights of national minorities, seems to be a kind of "trial version" before adopting a new version of the law of Ukraine on language ("On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language"), because Ukrainian society, like no other, is not interested in the infringement of languages of national minorities - this is exclusively the sphere of politicians.

For comparison, you can take the language law of the neighboring country - Poland. After the listed provisions of Articles 5-10 of Section II “Legal protection of the Polish language in public life”, Article 11 clearly states that the previous provisions do not apply to names; foreign-language newspapers, magazines, books and computer programs (with the exception of their descriptions and instructions); didactic and scientific activities of higher educational institutions, schools and classes with a foreign language of teaching or bilingual, a teacher's board of foreign languages, teaching other subjects, postgraduate studies and scientific activities in scientific institutions, if it meets special standards; scientific and creative activities; scientific and technical terminology, which is traditionally used; trademarks, trade names and marks of origin of goods and services; norms introduced in the original language in accordance with the provisions on normalization. Supporters of the assimilation of foreign-speaking citizens of Ukraine and national minorities would like to recall: the legislative system regulating the language issue in the Republic of Poland contains guarantees for the protection of national and ethnic minorities and a regional language (Article 19 of the Law of the Republic of Poland on National and Ethnic Minorities and the Regional Language), their rights to education and culture (laws of Poland from 10/07/1999, 1/6/2005, 7.04.1991). In addition, according to the law, for compactly living national minorities, the use and functioning of minority languages along with Polish as the official language is provided and guaranteed.

Related: Zelensky’s team comments draft law on state language


For supporters of the ukrainization of foreign-speaking citizens of our country and national minorities, I would like to emphasize: the legislative system for regulating the language issue in the Republic of Poland has guarantees for the protection of national and ethnic minorities, their regional languages and the right to education and culture (Polish laws of October 7, 1999, January 6, 2005 April 7, 1991). In addition, according to the law, for compactly living national minorities, the use, use and functioning of minority languages along with Polish as the official language is provided and guaranteed.

On the contrary, we have the draft law on language No. 5670-d with 41 articles in which all spheres of human activity are prescribed, which require the use of only the Ukrainian language. These are science, political and social activities, education, the army, medicine, culture, media, public events, transport, services, and even names. In other words, now people should speak Ukrainian in hospitals, pharmacies, public transport, in the store, even in online stores. In municipal and state theaters, performances should run in the state language or with Ukrainian subtitles on a special board. The same applies to cinema - the authors of the bill write that “the use of another language is allowed, if such is the artistic intention of the author”, but simultaneous translation or subtitles in Ukrainian are obligatory.

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights D. Mijatovic has already characterized the possible consequences of the adoption of this bill. Including the factor of escalation, discrimination, split along linguistic and ethno-national basis. But for all the alleged "commitment to the values" of this organization, Kyiv ignores such a reaction - they say, this is just a statement that is not binding. Kyiv does not want to "check" the law through the Venice Commission. Apparently, it understands what conclusions will be made.

Lithuania (one of the post-Soviet countries, and now a member of the EU) has already formed a state that does not comply with such regulations, so Ukraine, which is not a member of the European Union, will now clearly be treated with great suspicion. And if the goal of the ideologists of national radicalism is membership in the EU and NATO, then for the citizens of Ukraine this goal is to live in peace on their territory, and if they argue, it’s definitely not because of language conflicts.

Include a law on language on the agenda of the parliament before elections - such an idea could be thrown only by biased political consultants, because, if this law is approved, we can forgot about changing the discriminatory norm of the law "On education" in the near future.

In this case, it is impossible not to touch on the topic of the policy of linguocid, directed against the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine. Inspired by the election race, our politicians forgot to ask ordinary citizens whether they want to be deprived of the natural right to speak their native language or the language in which they used to communicate in their home country, which is, in fact, bilingual.

Meanwhile, this bill in a latent form provides the complete eradication of the Russian language, a ban on its use in all spheres of relations. This is undoubtedly a prerequisite for the targeted destruction of this language, which, in the order of legal application, is defined since 1967 by the term "linguocid". This is a complex of administrative-political as well as economic measures aimed at eradicating the language, often in the regions of its original and historical distribution. That is, in the field of realization of absolutely natural law, this means the death of the language. The term "linguocide" quite accurately describes a situation where native speakers are not physically destroyed, as in the genocide, but undergo a policy of assimilation, primarily in the language sphere. Sadly, at the moment this is our reality.

Such proposals of the draft law do not simply provide for the mandatory use of the Ukrainian language as the official, state language, they actually make it impossible for the Russian-speaking citizens, representatives of other national minorities to use their native language, which is contrary to constitutional principles. Indeed, in the Ukrainian state, the use and functioning of all languages should be based on three principles: the presence of the state language, free development, the use and protection of Russian and other languages of national minorities of Ukraine, and the prevention of discrimination on the basis of language (Article 10 of the Constitution of Ukraine). Moreover, in addition to the protection and development of Russian and other minority languages, the Constitution guarantees their use and functioning, as well as the state language. But the considered language bill contradicts the constitutional postulate on promoting the consolidation and development of the Ukrainian nation, its historical consciousness, traditions and culture, as well as the development of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of all indigenous peoples and national minorities of Ukraine (Article 11 of the Basic Law of Ukraine).

Related: Language law aims to discriminate languages of national minorities in Ukraine, - Medvedchuk

Ignoring the above principles is a direct violation of the Constitution of Ukraine, which has all the signs of betrayal of the national interests of a country in which more than 130 nationalities and ethnic groups live. The OSCE member states should address the issue of the rights of national minorities in an effective way, that is, in the spirit of Article 31 of the Copenhagen Document, which encourages these states to take special measures to ensure full equality of representatives of national minorities. In the same context, Article 33 of the Copenhagen Document requires that states protect the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of national minorities living in the territory of these states, and create the conditions for promoting this identity. However, this draft law does not contain mechanisms for the implementation of the constitutional regulation, as well as the Charter of Regional Languages and Languages of National Minorities and a number of other international acts on the protection of human rights to self-determination in the choice of language. But it contains politically motivated provisions of a repressive nature, which limit the natural right of a person to freely choose the language of communication.

It seems that the authorities intend to implement the provisions of the bill, using the police repressive apparatus, which, according to the norms of this document, will impose on citizens the duty to think and speak exclusively in the Ukrainian language. And citizens will be under the Damocles sword of administrative liability and many thousands of penalties for failure to fulfill such obligations.

In this way, the ideologists of nationalism intend to assimilate the population of Ukraine, driving everyone under the “titular nation”. They just need to legitimize the superiority of Ukrainians over other nations and nationalities of Ukraine with the ability to use for this "achievements" of Viatrovich and his anthropology. It is about replacing the concept of "titular nation" by "citizens of the state" living in the same country and representing the Ukrainian nation on the basis of language and ethnic minority. Thus forming the internal enemy in the face of foreign-speaking (Russian-speaking) compatriots, the national-chauvinists see as their goal an exclusively monolingual nation, cemented by the ideology of the superiority of the Ukrainian language and the discrimination of the Russian language and other languages of national minorities. And this is nothing more than a targeted linguocide.

Related: Language protection should not turn into burden for people, - MP Rabinovich

 

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