Since the term ‘Bosnian’ does not exist as a national group, neither does a ‘Bosnian language’, the Serb member of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency said on Monday, commenting the demands of Bosniak parents in the eastern village of Liplje to end discrimination in the local school.
Bosniaks students of the ‘Sveti Sava’ primary school in Liplje, near the eastern town of Zvornik, did not join their classmates on the first day of the new school year on September 1 since, according to their parents, they are being discriminated against by the principal who changed the name of their language from ‘Bosnian’ to “Language of the Bosniak people” in the registry.
Croat Presidency member Zeljko Komsic met with the parents on Monday and promised that he would discuss the issue with Dodik at the next Presidency session. He said that if the issue remains unresolved, it should be brought before the Constitutional Court or the European Court of Human Rights and promised to provide legal aid to the parents in the process.
Dodik said that every other language in the country is named after the ethnic group speaking it and argued that this should be the same for Bosniaks.
“Imposing the name ‘Bosnian language’ is a continuation of a policy of assimilating everyone in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which we don’t agree to. As ‘Bosnians’ don’t exist as a national unit, neither does ‘Bosnian language’,” Dodik said.
If the parents keep insisting on a Bosnian language, Dodik said someone should explain to them that the word for ‘Bosnian’ is ‘Bosniak’ in the Serbian language.