Bosniak parents from Liplje have been on strike for three weeks and whose children are not attending classes because, according to them, they can not learning their mother tongue, Bosnian language, wrote to Bosnia's international administrator Valentin Inzko to finally start doing his job and protect their children and Bosniaks in the Republika Srpska entity.
“We're a group of parents from Liplje whose children are prevented from enjoying their basic human right, the right to their own, Bosnian language, which is guaranteed by the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, UN Declaration on Human Rights and the Declaration of the UNICEF Education Commission,” the parents said in a letter to the High Representative in Bosnia, in charge of implementing the Dayton Peace Agreement which ended the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia.
The Bosnian-Serb majority region called Republika Srpska has banned the use of the term Bosnian language in school and universities citing the Constitution of this semi-autonomous entity which says that the official languages will be the language of the Serb people, the language of the Bosniak people and the language of the Croat people. However, when it comes to Serb and Croat students, the names of their languages are Serbian and Croatian language. For this reason, Bosniak parents have pulled their children from classes until they get the right to study the national group of subjects without obstruction.
The parents say that the years-long disregard for their basic human rights and the rights of their children forced them to stop their children from going to school until this discrimination and humiliating practice of forcing the name “language of the Bosniak people” onto their children.
“The gap between their children and the children of Serb nationality is all the greater knowing that Serb children are not forced to learn the ‘language of the Serb people’,” the parents wrote. “Therefore, Mr Inzko, you are our last hope, the straw of salvation in this absurdity imposed on us by the discriminatory government, and we beg you – REACT and provide us with the much desired and necessary support, because, in few years time, it will be too late.”
They concluded saying for years, international institutions have only offered declarative help but did nothing in practice to sanction the breaking of the country's constitution and its laws and court verdicts.