Yevgeni OSADCHY Head of Apparatus The RF State Duma Commission for Studies of Practical Observance of Human Rights and Basic Freedoms, Supervision over their Observance in Foreign States "We live in a democracy, so it must be self-evident that we should have a right to self-government. In our past, the fate of Lusatians has very often been in other people's hands... Every sensible man should understand that we cannot live without our schools. We insist that there should be Lusatian schools, especially in villages. It is only the public of our villages and school that are able to create a necessary inner spiritual atmosphere for our children. This is why I do not understand the actions of Saxon authorities. In the times of social transformations in our country I hoped we would be able to decide for ourselves. Unfortunately, this is still only a dream". Jurij Brezan стр. 101 The problem of ensuring basic civil rights and freedoms in Central and Western Europe is still high on the political agenda. Moreover, one is forced to refer to exacerbation of this problem in EU founding states. Acting as flagships of democracy and proponents of human rights in other parts of the world, they, when at home, are unfortunately not always, by far, guided by the principles which they developed in their time. A striking example of these "double standards" is FRG's policy with regard to one of the oldest indigenous peoples of Europe, Lusatian Serbs, whose destiny in the past 15 years has been truly dramatic. According to statistics, the number of Lusatians had gone down 20 per cent over the decade starting in 1990. What are the causes of this alarming development? Are German authorities concerned about these figures? Is there a way out of the existing situation for the people which has been living in this area for 1,500 years? In Europe Since the Times of Samo In German, this people is called the Sorbs (Wends). It is a Slavic ... Read more

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