Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The Rights of a Language

Today at Berria Englsih:

Call for commitment in favour of citizens’ language rights

Yesterday the “Kontseilua” of the Basque language presented the initiative: “Language rights. Everyone’s commitment”

Amagoia Iban – DONOSTIA (San Sebastian)

Six years ago “Kontseilua”, the Council of Social Groups in Favour of the Basque Language, launched the “Bai Euskarari” (Yes to the Basque Language) campaign in favour of the normalisation of the Basque language. The closing event took place on December 26, 1998 when five sports stadiums filled with people who defended their position with respect to the language. Yesterday, “Kontseilua” members recalled that event and said that in recent times many “serious” attacks had been carried out on the Basque language; they highlighted the “weakening” of the Basque language normalisation process.

As a result of the 1998 campaign many social organisations signed the “Bai Euskarari” agreement and the initiative begun at that time is still ongoing. Xabier Mendiguren Bereziartu, the organisation’s general secretary, pointed out yesterday, “Through the ‘Bai Euskarari’ agreement many social organisations have said ‘yes’ to the Basque language, they have made a commitment and implemented steps to bring about the normalisation of the language. What ‘Kontseilua’ aims to do now is to intensify those commitments.” This is why they have launched the campaign: “Hizkuntza eskubideak! Denon konpromisoa” (Language rights. Everyone’s commitment).

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