Vilnius: There will be Belarusian language on monument to January uprising participants

There will be inscriptions in the Belarusian language on the monument to the January uprising in Vilnius, Lithuanian MP Tomas Tomilinas said with reference to Culture Minister Mindaugas Kvietkauskas. According to previous reports, only Polish and Lithuanian were expected to be used.

Many Belarusians consider Kastus Kalinouski, one of the leaders of the uprising in the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (present-day Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Latvia, parts of Ukraine, and western Russia) against the Russian Empire, a national hero. The uprising, which is commonly called “Kalinouski’s” in Belarus, began on 22 January 1863 and lasted until the last insurgents were captured in 1864.

“There will be a place for the Belarusian language, close to those for Polish and Lithuanian. As Kastus Kalinouski, one of the most prominent participants, is in the Hall of Fame of Belarus’ national heroes, the Belarusians’ concern over the matter is quite has gained our understanding. Much is being done in Lithuania to strengthen the Belarusian identity, to promote the Belarusian language, along with our efforts to spread the ideas of democracy and human rights in Belarus,” Tomas Tomilinas said on Facebook.

When reached by, the politician also noted that using the Belarusian language was not an issue at all.

“I informed the Minister of Culture of the situation, because I have regular contacts with Belarusians, and many people wrote and spoke to me. The decision not to have the Belarusian language on the monument was not political. When he learned that the Belarusians were worried about it, he immediately said that such an inscription would appear. However, the Belarusian authorities have not expressed their concern or interest in the situation,” he stressed.

The remains of some rebel fighters will be reburied at the Rosy Cemetery this autumn. The Lithuanian side hopes that top officials of Belarus, Ukraine, Latvia will attend the ceremony.

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