VILNIUS - Lithuanian MPs still defend their original views on values. On March 30, the Lithuanian parliament rejected the amendment to the Children’s Rights Protection Law, which would ban physical and psychological punishment for children. The amendments were proposed by Ona Valiukeviciute, MP of the Order and Justice Party’s parliamentary faction. The amendment was supported by 47 MPs while eight MPs voted against and 50 MPs abstained. Abstention in the parliament is a polite way of saying “no.” The majority of those who abstained were MPs of the ruling Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrats. They were backed by a large part of three opposition parties, the Order and Justice Party, the Christian Party and the Labor Party.
Paulius Saudargas, MP of the Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrats, explained his negative stance on the amendment as non-interference into family matters. Petras Grazulis, MP of the Order and Justice Party, echoed him stating that he grew up in a family of 15 children, and he is grateful to his father for “tweaking his ear” when he did not behave himself, adding that justification of such punishment is in the Bible.
“Then we should also legalize the stoning of women to death. Maybe you can find some justification for it in the Bible,” Social Democrat MP Vytenis Andriukaitis said bitterly.
“The consequences of physical punishment are obvious on Grazulis,” Social Democrat MP Birute Veisaite said.
“What have we done? I’m ashamed in front of the entire Europe!” Social Democrat MP Marija Ausrine Pavilioniene cried loudly after the vote.
According to Dainius Puras, psychologist and member of the United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of the Child, the failure to pass the amendment will preserve the vicious circle of psychological terror when “a politician or a teacher” subconsciously conducts revenge on surrounding people for punishments which he or she suffered in his or her childhood.