Sunday, May 30, 2010

Latvian state language agency head denounces academic to Security Police

Based on media published excerpts of an interview by Sergejs Kruks, an academic researcher,  the head of the Latvian State Language Agency (Valsts valoda aģentūra/VVA)  Jānis Valdmanis, denounced the researcher to the Latvian Security Police, who summoned Kruks for questioning last week.
Kruks told the Latvian news agency BNS that his research indicated Latvians had to change or abandon some of their traditional values and give up the idea of preserving the country " as an open-air museum" where poets and artists can make a living and where national costumes, the language and traditions are preserved."
Valdmanis apparently interpreted this as a violation of laws against inciting ethnic hatred and asked the Security Police to investigate.
Kruks, an associate professor at the Riga Stradiņa university, is the second academic in recent years to be investigated by the Security Police for statements made to journalists and published in the media. Dmitrijs Smirnovs, a lecturer in economics at a college in Ventspils was arrested, taken to Security Police headquarters in Riga and held for two days after suggesting that people should not trust Latvian banks and the Latvian lat at a round-table discussion published in a local newspaper.



Miks said...

Painfully ironic that "denouncing" someone to the authorities Cheka-style is now seen as a means of defending the Latvian state.

Anonymous said...

Re Miks above:
That is because for twenty years the Latvian state has been keeping Latvia from receiving funds for projects that would strengthen Latvian self-consciousness.

Kruks knows what he is talking about. Valdmanis should be asked to resign.