Minority report

  • 2005-04-06
I am writing in response to your front page article (the last copy) featuring the events on March 16. I would like to make some remarks on the occasion that seems important to me, and that need some additional clarification. I would like to note that instead of what in the article was called in plural "minorities," in reality is only one minority.

The last word deserves to be put in inverted commas. As statistics put it, right now in all major Latvian cities the Russian speaking population constitutes more than half of all inhabitants, be it in Daugavpils, Liepaja, or Jelgava, but in Riga almost 2/3 are Russian speaking. Before World War II, in 1939 in Riga they were not more than 10 percent.

Contrary to the results of surveys published in the TBT in previous years, around 90 percent, at least, ethnic Latvians can speak Russian quite well, its not the case with the Russian speaking population with regards to the Latvian language, who in real terms are not a minority at all.

If you call Mr. Viktors Alksnis an ethnic Latvian as the Russian media do, it makes one (me) wonder what could be understood by that. As a matter of fact his native language is Russian and his Latvian, to put it mildly, is poor. It reminds me of the fact of Soviet legacy 's Russification, as for most of the people referred to as Belarusians and Ukrainians, it's a pity, they don't speak their mother tongues but only Russian.

And the last fact. There have been as far as I can remember more than seven occasions when Latvian embassies in Russia have been assaulted, but up till now no one similar case with the Russian embassy in Latvia. Think about it!

Gunars Sondors


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