Lithuanian and Polish ministers of education and science have agreed to set up expert groups to analyze the situation of ethnic minority education in both countries, reports ELTA. This decision was taken by Gintaras Steponavicius, Lithuanian Education and Science Minister, and Katarzyna Hall, Polish National Education Minister. Steponavicius noted that Lithuania creates favorable conditions to maintain the Polish school network, in spite of decreasing numbers of their students. The minister also raised the question of the planned closure of the Lithuanian schools in Poland. “I hope that firsthand information will help to shed light on the situation of ethnic minority education in Lithuania and the fact that the new provisions of the education law do not press education in the mother tongue,” Steponavicius said. The Lithuanian and Polish ministers agreed that the groups will organize regular meetings. It has also been decided to continue the dialogue at the ministerial level.
An assailant sprayed a Roman Catholic priest with flammable liquid and set him alight during mass in a church in Lithuania, police said on May 20, reports AFP. Father Remigijus Kuprys, 46, managed to extinguish the flames with the help of worshippers, but suffered facial burns. The attack occurred during a service on May 19 in the central Lithuanian town of Jonava, when a 42-year-old local resident sprayed Kuprys with the flammable liquid and set it ablaze with a cigarette lighter. The motives of the assailant were unknown. “We have reports that he had repeatedly disrupted masses and shouted weird statements,” officer Mindaugas Juknys said. If considered mentally fit to stand trial, he risks up to 10 years in jail for the assault. Lithuanian daily Lietuvos Rytas published a photograph of Kuprys with his face fully bandaged, with only his eyes and mouth visible.