[lg policy] Activists: Rada should adopt language legislation, since decisions on Ukrainian as primary language are sabotaged

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Tue Sep 18 11:04:29 EDT 2018

Activists: Rada should adopt language legislation, since decisions on
Ukrainian as primary language are sabotaged
By *Interfax-Ukraine* <https://www.kyivpost.com/author/interfax-ukraine>.
Published Sept. 18 at 2:23 pm
Protesters hold banner Kharkiv for Ukrainian language (written in Ukrainian
language) on Kharkiv rally.
Photo by *Courtesy*
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Activists from NGO For Ukrainian-Speaking Kyiv insist that the Verkhovna
Rada adopt the language legislation regulating the use of the Ukrainian
language since the rights of Ukrainians to being serviced in the Ukrainian
language are frequently ignored by business entities and local authorities.

The activists said at a press conference at the Interfax-Ukraine news
agency on Tuesday that on September 16, a cashier at a McDonald’s
restaurant in Kyiv refused to service a client in Ukrainian.

“We are saying that such cases are not isolated, and despite the fact that
some large chains still try to offer services in the Ukrainian language,
many others stubbornly ignore the rights of Ukrainians (…) The Citrus
chain, which refuses to switch to the state language, the KFC chain, and a
number of other networks, in particular, Rukkola, ATB, BILLA,” said Andriy
Smoliy, head of the Kyiv branch of the Ukrainian Galician Party, deputy
head of NGO For Ukrainian-Speaking Kyiv and a civil activist of the Away
from Moscow initiative.

He recalled that at a meeting on October 5, 2017 the Kyiv City Council
adopted the decision on measures to ensure regional language policy in the
city of Kyiv, according to which business entities should have their
documentation in the state language.

“Despite the fact that on October 5, 2017 the Kyiv City Council made the
decision that Ukrainian is the primary language of service in the territory
of the city of Kyiv (…) this decision is openly sabotaged by business
entities and KCSA (Kyiv City State Administration), which should ensure the
implementation of this decision,” the activist said.

Smoliy added that the only solution would be the adoption of the language
legislation by the Verkhovna Rada.

“Now the only solution is the adoption of the language legislation at an
all-Ukrainian level, i.e. by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (…) Only the
adoption of such a law, which will cover all spheres of social life of
Ukrainians, will be able to correct the situation with the language, both
in Kyiv and in Ukraine as a whole,” he said.

 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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