[Ura-list] The fate of Lyudmila Markianova

Johanna Laakso johanna.laakso at univie.ac.at
Wed Feb 17 19:50:39 UTC 2016

Dear URA-LIST Community,

many of you probably know the name of Lyudmila Markianova, retired professor of Karelian at the University of Petrozavodsk, the leading expert in the planning of the modern Olonets Karelian standard language. She is currently staying in Finland, where her daughter and only child (who has lived in Finland for more than 20 years and has Finnish citizenship) is taking care of her. Professor Markianova suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s disease and needs constant care. Now, however, as reported in "Helsingin Sanomat" on February 14th (http://www.hs.fi/kaupunki/a1455337553633 ), Finnish authorities are planning to send her "home" to Russia, where she has no close relatives alive.

A group of Finnish colleagues has pleaded with various authorities to cancel this inhumane decision, also considering Lyudmila Markianova’s great merits to the development of the Karelian language (which is an autochthonous minority language in Finland as well). Their open letter can be read (in Finnish) at http://www.karjalansivistysseura.fi/arkisto/vetoomus-ljudmila-markianovan-karkotuspaatoksen-purkamiseksi/ . Although it is questionable whether and how the decisions of the authorities can be influenced by public opinion or personal merit, we have also launched an online petition at http://www.adressit.com/ljudmila_markianovan_karkotuspaatos_purettava . So far, more than 4000 people have signed the petition; we hope that this will encourage Professor Markianova's family in their struggle to ensure best possible care for her and that more publicity to this case could open the eyes of the Finnish authorities.

If you consider joining the petition but feel you would need more information, please feel free to contact me.

Johanna Laakso

Univ.Prof. Dr. Johanna Laakso
Universität Wien, Institut für Europäische und Vergleichende Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft (EVSL)
Abteilung Finno-Ugristik
Campus AAKH Spitalgasse 2-4 Hof 7
A-1090 Wien
johanna.laakso at univie.ac.athttp://homepage.univie.ac.at/Johanna.Laakso/
Project ELDIA: http://www.eldia-project.org/ 
VIRSU network: http://www.univie.ac.at/virsu/ 

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