Vilnija is a
Lithuanian political organization, considered to be extremisten icon cite book | author =Cas Mudde | coauthors = | title =Racist Extremism in Central and Eastern Europe | year =2005 | editor = | pages =151 | chapter = | chapterurl = | publisher =Routledge (UK) | location =London | id =ISBN 0415355931 | url =http://books.google.com/books?id=YB-ZwiBf5HgC&pg=RA9-PA151&lpg=RA9-PA151&ots=wmhEhEojjt&sig=sJCh55Q77TuGYf4gfM5gbZm2DHg | format = | accessdate = ] [pl icon Gazeta Wyborcza, 2001-02-14, " [http://serwisy.gazeta.pl/swiat/1,34175,151474.html Litewska prokuratura przesłuchuje weteranów AK"] (Lithuanian prosecutor questioning AK veterans), last accessed on 7 June2006] ] Leonardas Vilkas, [http://www.darski.info/?darski=kraje&go=estonia_elali LITEWSKA, ŁOTEWSKA I ESTOŃSKA DROGA DO NIEPODLEGŁOŚCI I DEMOKRACJI: PRÓBA PORÓWNANIA] (Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian Way to Independence: An Attempt to Compare] , on homepage of Jerzy Targalski, professor of University of Warsaw] and nationalist.en icon cite web | author=Karolina Bielenin, dr Jarosław Tomasiewicz | title=Polish Minority in Lithuania | publisher=Stowarzyszenie na rzecz Wielości Kultur | year= | work=zaKORZENIEnie | url=http://zakorzenianie.most.org.pl/english/04.htm | accessdate=2007-01-13 ] pl icon cite web | author=Paweł Cieplak | title=Polsko-litewskie stosunki (Polish-Lithuanian affairs) | publisher= | year= | work=Lithuanian Portal | url=http://www.ambasada.lt/Default.asp?DL=P&TopicID=294 | accessdate=2007-01-13 ] pl icon cite journal | author =Katarzyna Zuchowicz | year = | month = | title =Pół wieku z polskim słowem (Half a Century With a Polish Word) | journal =Rzeczpospolita | volume = | issue =2003-07-16 | pages = | id = | url =http://www.mfa.gov.pl/index.php?page=5682&lang_id=pl&bulletin_id=11&portlet=biuletyn%2Fpokaz | format = | accessdate =2007-01-13 , cited on the official page of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs] pl icon cite journal | author =Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs | year =2006 | month =10 | title ="Ustawa o języku państwowym" (Statue on national language) - commentary on Vincas Urbutisarticle "Debaty nad ustawą o języku (Debates on the Language Act) " in Lietuvos Aidas, 04 – 07.10 | journal =Media zagraniczne o Polsce (Foreign Media on Poland) | volume =XV | issue =200/37062 | pages = | id = | url =http://www.mfa.gov.pl/index.php?page=9370&lang_id=pl&bulletin_id=8&portlet=biuletyn%2Fpokaz | format = | accessdate =2006-01-20 ] The organization was formed in 1988, in the LSSR, and its primary aim was the Lithuanizationof ethnic Polesliving in the Eastern part of Lithuania. The organization is mostly composed of ethnic Lithuaniansalthough it was later joined by a marginal Polish organization, the Association of St. Zita("Stowarzyszenie Św. Zyty"); . The organization was created by Romualdas Ozolasand has been led for many years by Kazimieras Garšva. Its program, elaborated in a monograph by Garšvalt icon cite book | author = Kazimieras Garšva| coauthors = | title =Pietryciu Lietuvos autonomijos klausimai (Questions on the Autonomy of South-Eastern Lithuania) | year =1990 | editor = | pages = | chapter = | chapterurl = | publisher =Eksperimentines Technikos | location =Chicago | id = | url = | format = | accessdate = ] , is based on their belief that the Polish minority in Lithuaniaare in fact Polonized Lithuaniansand that their true identity had been erased by years of foreign occupationen icon cite book | author = Dovile Budryte| coauthors = | title =Taming Nationalism?: Political Community Building in the Post-Soviet Baltic States | year =2005 | editor = | pages =147-148 | chapter = | chapterurl = | publisher =Ashgate Publishing | location =Aldershot | id =ISBN 0754637573 | url =http://books.google.com/books?id=UJMzpeUHkQcC&pg=PA149&lpg=PA149&sig=s8BnP6xV4TGxoLbhZxJ1_9F8FFU#PPA148,M1 | format = | accessdate = ] . To counter such situation, the organization proposed that they should be brought back to their Lithuanian roots by removing any trace of alien (that is, Polish or Russian) textbooks, teachers, symbols and traditions . The organization's goal is also to counter perceived growing Polish influence in Lithuania, which Vilnija sees as a threat to that nation.
Prominent members of the organisation include academicians
Kazimieras Garšva, Zigmas Zinkevičius, Arnoldas Piročkinasand Seimas deputies Gediminas Paviržisand Romualdas Ozolas. Vilnija also has it's own paper, Voruta, financed by Lithuania's Department for Minorities and Emmigrants.lt icon cite web |url = http://www.voruta.lt/article.php?article=269 |title = Voruta: "Vorutos" remėjai |date = 2003-01-08 |accessdate = 2008-08-22]
The organization is known for controversial actions and statements. In June 1999, it signed a petition defending
Aleksandras Lileikis, the former head of Vilnius branch of Lithuanian Security Police(a Lithuanian Nazi-sponsored collaborationist police force that operated from 1941 to 1944)en icon cite news |author = United States Department of Justice|url = http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/news/1996/960626-302crm.htm |title = Court Revokes U.S. Citizenship of Former Security Police Official |date = 1996-06-26 |accessdate = 2006-06-09] , accused of extermination of Jews and collaboration with the Nazis during the Second World War. Vilnija has been seen by Polish government and media to often organize or support anti-Polishactionspl icon cite journal | author =Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs | year =2006 | month =10 | title ="Antypolski tekst K. Garsvy" (Anti-polish text by K. Garsva)". Commentary on K.Garsva article "Kiedy na Wileńszczyźnie będzie wprowadzone zarządzanie bezpośrednie? (When Vilnius region will have direct self-government?)" in Lietuvos Aidas, 11 -12.10 | journal =Media zagraniczne o Polsce (Foreign Media on Poland) | volume =XV | issue =200/37062 | pages = | id = | url =http://www.mfa.gov.pl/index.php?page=9370&lang_id=pl&bulletin_id=8&portlet=biuletyn%2Fpokaz | format = | accessdate =2006-01-20 ] and the academic works of its leader,the philologist Kazimieras Garšva, have been very negatively received by Polish governmentpl icon cite journal | author =Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs | year =2005 | month =03 | title ="Armia Krajowa na Litwie - ślepa uliczka historii" - cd. | journal =Media zagraniczne o Polsce (Foreign Media on Poland) | volume =XIV | issue =2539/3292 | pages = | id = | ur =http://www.mfa.gov.pl/index.php?page=4302&lang_id=pl&bulletin_id=8&portlet=biuletyn%2Fpokaz | format = | accessdate =2006-01-15 ] pl icon cite journal | author =Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs | year =2004 | month =09 | title =Dr Garsva - prezes nacjonalistycznego stowarzyszenia Vilnija (...) | journal =Media zagraniczne o Polsce (Foreign Media on Poland) | volume =XIII | issue =2409 (3162) | pages = | id = | url =http://www.mfa.gov.pl/index.php?page=4169&lang_id=pl&bulletin_id=8&portlet=biuletyn%2Fpokaz | format = | accessdate =2006-01-15 ] , media pl icon cite journal | author = | year =2005 | month =November | title =Uknuli prowokację | journal = Tygodnik Wileńszczyzny| volume = | issue = | pages = | id = | url =http://www.tygodnik.lt/200511/aktualia.html | format = | accessdate =2007-01-15 ] pl icon cite journal | author =Robert Mickiewicz | year =2005 | month =03 | title =Antypolski film w litewskiej telewizji | journal =Rzeczpospolita | volume =62 | issue =15.03.2005 | pages = | id = | url =http://www.mfa.gov.pl/index.php?page=6122&lang_id=pl&bulletin_id=11&portlet=biuletyn%2Fpokaz | format = | accessdate =2007-01-15 ] pl icon cite web | author=various authors | title=Press Review 2005-03-15 | publisher=Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland | year=2005 | work=Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs homepage| url=http://www.mfa.gov.pl/index.php?page=6122&lang_id=pl&bulletin_id=11&portlet=biuletyn%2Fpokaz | accessdate=2007-01-15 ] , and on occasion criticized by the Lithuanian government as welllt icon cite journal | author =Vincas Urbutis | year =2005 | month =October | title = | journal = Lietuvos Aidas| volume = | issue =04/07-10-2005 | pages = | id = | url = | format = | accessdate = , as cited in: pl icon cite web | author=various authors | title=Press Review 2005-03-15 | publisher=Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland | year=2005 | work=Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs homepage| url=http://188.8.131.52/search?q=cache:OccZ7ZWP0jMJ:www.mfa.gov.pl/apps/%3Fcommand%3Dbiuletyn/pokaz%26lang_id%3Dpl%26page%3D9370%26bulletin_id%3D8+Dr+Garsva+-+prezes+nacjonalistycznego+stowarzyszenia+Vilnija&hl=pl&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=pl&client=firefox-a | accessdate=2007-03-06 ] .
Vilnija takes an interest in the political situation of the Lithuanians of the
Vilnius region. Vilnija protests that former Polish autonomists, who it claims illegally attempted to determine the political autonomy of Poles in May 22, 1991Fact|date=February 2007, are still in authority in the Election Action of Lithuania's PolesPartyFact|date=February 2007 and have not yet received what is sees as a proper legal judgment for their anti-constitutional actionsFact|date=February 2007. Vilnija claims that this party is composed of for Communists, and is a dictatorship in the districts with Polish majority— ( Vilnius districtand Šalčininkai district).Fact|date=February 2007 It points to the fact that Election Action of Lithuania's Poles regularly receives 80-90% of the votes in Vilnius district, although Poles constitutes only 64% of population there. [ [http://www.xxiamzius.lt/archyvas/xxiamzius/20030502/liet_04.html Autonomininkai diktuoja sąlygas (the autonomists dictate the terms) www.xxiamzius.lt] ] Vilnija says the Election Action of Lithuania's Poles party discourages the integration of the national minorities of Lithuania and constantly tries to present the Polish minority as put-upon [ [http://www.xxiamzius.lt/archyvas/xxiamzius/20021220/aktu_03.html Geresnio gyvenimo troškulys (The thirst for a better life) www.xxiamzius.lt] ] .
Vilnija often voices concern about the situation of Lithuanian schools in the area. [ [http://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/education/article.php?id=9823970 Už augantį lenkiškų mokyklų mokinių skaičių politikai gauna premijas (The politicians receive premiums for the growing number of the pupils of the Polish schools) www.delfi.lt] ] [http://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/education/article.php?id=10398981 Ministrės pečius užgulė Vilniaus krašto mokyklų problemos (The problems of the schools of Vilnius region shouldered by the minister) www.delfi.lt] ] , the criticism on the Election Action of Lithuania's Poles party, and the Lithuanian government as well.
As Garšva says that local government propagates Polish schools at the expense of Lithuanian schools. He says that frequently larger amounts of money per pupil are allotted to Polish schools in order to attract Lithuanian students, and claims that such financial support of Poland is an interference in the affairs of the Lithuania Republic. The teachers of the Lithuanian schools of the region also see the attempts to attach Lithuanian schools to the Polish schools to be unnatural. [ [http://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/education/article.php?id=9823970 Už augantį lenkiškų mokyklų mokinių skaičių politikai gauna premijas (The politicians receive premiums for the growing number of the pupils of the Polish schools) www.delfi.lt] ]
As Garšva says: "After the plan of the establishment, reorganization, liquidation and reformation of the internal structure of the schools to the year 2012, it can be seen that Election Action of Lithuania's Poles administering
Vilnius district municipalityapparently progresses to the programme of the further strengthening of the Polish schools and quick removal of the Lithuanian schools". [ [http://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/education/article.php?id=10398981 Ministrės pečius užgulė Vilniaus krašto mokyklų problemos (The problems of the schools of Vilnius region shouldered by the minister) www.delfi.lt ] ] According to him the Lithuanian primary schoolof Glitiškėswith 28 pupils was attached not to the Lithuanian middle schoolof Glitiškės, but were assigned to the Polish school with 5 pupils and a Polish school principalThe middle school of Parudaminys with 46 pupils studying in Lithuanian and 46 in Polish was atached not to the Lithuanian school in Juodšiliai, but to the Polish one.Fact|date=February 2007
The counterarguments given represent different view: [ The Ministrės pečius užgulė Vilniaus krašto mokyklų problemos
The problems of the schools of Vilnius region shouldered by the minister[http://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/education/article.php?id=10398981&com=1 The first commentary] www.delfi.lt ] "by the decree of the Vilnius Municipality the primary school of Glitiškės (with Lithuanian and Polish languages) was attached to the Glitiškės primary school teaching in both the Lithuanian and Polish languages. There where no potential to have the school attached to the middle school in Glitiškės because of it was subordinate to another body, the administration of Vilnius County. The school principal assigned was the only person having entered the competition. There were no request to study in Lithuanian in the first grade level in 2004-2005 here."Fact|date=February 2007
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