OSCE: Linguistic cleansing underway in Transdniestria (Moldova)

The forced closure of the Moldovan School in Tiraspol is nothing less than linguistic cleansing," the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Rolf Ekeus, said on Thursday.

He made the comment after local authorities in the break-away region of Transdniestria (Moldova) surrounded Tiraspol School No. 20 with armed police in the early morning hours and forcibly removed the school's furniture and equipment. Parents and teachers attempted to block the trucks carrying the materials but they were also forcibly removed by militia.

An estimated 40 per cent of the population in the Transdniestrian region has Moldovan/Romanian as their mother tongue. Approximately five thousand pupils have been studying the language in the Latin script for over ten years. However, Transdniestrian authorities claim that Moldovan is only an official language of the region when it is written in Cyrillic script, as it was in the Soviet Union.

The OSCE is urging the Transdniestrian authorities to implement the agreement signed in 2003 for the schools to function unhindered while a broader accord on their status is being discussed.

izvor/Quelle: OSCE

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