Forwarded from Eurolang

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Fri Mar 11 16:52:44 UTC 2005

Welsh language group launches online petition in support of the languages

Dafydd Meirion, Penygroes 3/7/2005

Welsh language group launches online petition in support of the languages

The Welsh language pressure group Cymuned has launched an online petition
to support its campaign for the Welsh language heartlands.  The group was
formed in 2001 to tackle widespread inmigration of English speakers to the
heartlands, threatening the language. The census of that year showed,
whilst there had been a increase in the number of Welsh speakers
throughout Wales, there had been a decline in its heartlands.  Cymuned now
want the National Assembly of Wales to adopt measures to safeguard these
communities by helping local people to compete in the housing market and
strengthening its economic activity.

People are encouraged to read and declare support for the Declaration of
the Fro Gymraeg (the Welsh-speaking heartlands) on the internet. The
petition was launched by displaying a large banner Y Fro Gymraeg  Keep Our
Communities Alive on the walls of Dolwyddelan castle, in north-west Wales,
once a stronghold of the Welsh princes and one of the last castles to fall
to the invading English armies during the 13th century.

"This is the first public step towards revealing how much support we have
received for our Declaration of the Fro Gymraeg," says Richard Evans,
chairman of Cymuneds Executive Committee. "A lot of preparatory work has
been going on behind the scenes, and through displaying this banner on the
walls of Dolwyddelan castle, we are declaring that the public work is now
beginning. We demand that the Assembly Government recognises the existence
and the importance of the Fro Gymraeg."

Cymuneds definition of the Fro Gymraeg is those areas where over 50 per
cent of the population that was born in Cymru (Wales) speak Cymraeg
(Welsh), and over 33 per cent of the population as a whole. Cymuned says
that language planning experts have announced that there is a need for a
geographic area where a minority language is the main language of all
spheres of life if it is to survive in the long term.

"We have a lot of plans for promoting the Fro Gymraeg this year," says
Aran Jones, Cymuneds chief executive, "and this is just the beginning. We
will not stop until Rhodri Morgan [First Minister of the Assembly] and the
Assembly Government recognise that the Fro Gymraeg exists, and accept that
our Cymraeg-speaking communities are of priceless importance to our nation
as a whole."

The petition can be found at
(Eurolang  2005)

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