Author`s name Michael Simpson

Latvian Scientist Expatriates - 27 February, 2003

Founder and Director of the Multinational Culture Center, Doctor of Philology, Arthur Prieditis declared would reject the Latvian citizenship and sent a fax to inform Latvia President Vaira Vike-Freiberga of his intention. As Latvia’s newspaper Vesti Segodnya (News Today) informs, Arthur Prieditis wants to appeal for Russian citizenship. At that, the scholar adds it was difficult for him to take a decision on expatriation. 

The Multinational Culture Center was created in Daugavpils, Latvia’s second largest city, ten years ago with a view to unite representatives of different nationalities. The Center is the only institution in the country that is developing new approaches to ethnic policy. Director of the Center is the author of books and scientific works on coexistence of people of many cultures, on the Hebrew culture history and on the Latvian culture history. One of Prieditis’ books on the history of Latvian culture was published in Russia as Latvia refused to publish the book; the publication was financed by Russian businessmen.

As Arthur Prieditis says, before 1997 attitude to the Center was good. The scholar says that the first Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis visited the Center. When the incumbent Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga visited Daugavpils, specialists of the center for invited as experts and advisors on national problems to meetings with the president. “The previous convocation of the Duma in Daugavpils understood that activity of the Center was very important for the city where many nations were living. And how, when nationally-oriented Prime Minister Einars Repse has come to power, it is perfectly evident that further peaceful coexistence of many nations has no prospects in the country.”

To confirm his words with actual facts, Arthur Prieditis said that school education was made bilingual under compulsion; non-citizens of Latvia are not allowed to take part even in local elections.