The chairman of the union of the Belarusians of the world “Batskaushchyna” (Fatherland) thinks that real-life problems of Belarusians should have been discussed at the congress.
In an interview to www.charter97.org website Alyaksei Marachkin shared impressions of the first day of the 5th Congress of the Belarusians of the world held in Minsk on July 18-19.
- Conclusions are alarming. It is not for nothing that for the first time such a “bouquet” of officials was attending the congress. Firstly, Culture Minister Pavel Latushka, and secondly the head of Religious and Ethnic Affairs Committee Leanid Hulyaka, officials of the Foreign Ministry. And speeches of officials were so long that their papers showered down. People were puzzled: are we at a Communist party conference? Have we gathered to listen to reports of bureaucrats?
I must repeat, it is alarming. Some underground intrigues that are taking place are worrying. I wouldn’t like to speak about that, but that is just the point. If Pavel Yakubovich arranged for renting premises for the congress, it becomes obvious that the authorities want to make the union of the Belarusians of the world “Batskaushchyna” tame. The deputy head of Lukashenka’s administration Zametalin once dubbed us oppositional public organisation and recommended not to cooperate with us. And suddenly such a fuss takes place. But if Lukashenka wants to move in the direction f the civilized world, he could have congratulated participants of the congress. However, that hasn’t happened. Instead of that he was riding a motorcycle.
Certainly, we are glad that people have visited their home land. But a representative of the Belarusian expat community in Germany has addressed the congress. He read out a letter of political emigrants. One has to think it over. It is written in the letter that there are many political refugees who cannot come to Belarus, as they are banned from entering the country. And the representative of the expat community asked: then who are those who have gathered for the congress? Are they representing all the Belarusians of the world? No. many are cut off from their motherland.
Actually, there was a desire to speak about the situation in Belarus in a more keen way.
The leadership of the organization is to be elected at the congress in the non-alternative way. One candidature, the chairperson of the Council of the Union of the Belarusians of the world “Batskaushchyna” Alena Makouskaya is to be nominated.
Our organisation certainly needs renewal, but we shouldn’t sell ourselves surreptitiously; this sweet word “resources” makes people spineless. But one should always state one’s position directly and clearly.
However the political situation wasn’t stated clearly on the first day of the congress. Nobody spoke about political prisoners, even Paval Sevyarynets, who was a prisoner many times himself.
The announced topic of the congress, national identification, depends on politics. All problems of Belarusians are caused by fear, and fear is caused by one person. Power structures of Lukashenka are punitive, like in Soviet times. That’s our identity. Such things certainly must be discussed.