White-red-white flags over Minsk
White-red-white national flags appeared in Minsk and other Belarusians towns on the 13th anniversary of referendum 1995, when the national symbols were forbidden.
National white-red-white Belarusian flags appeared today’s morning on Peramohi Square in Minsk, in front of Svabody Square and Europe Hotel.
The places, where national flags were hung out, had been specially chosen by the Young Front activists. Firstly, these city cites have special meaning for any Minsk dweller – Peramohi Square reminds of the heroic struggle of millions of Belarusians against fascist occupants, and Svabody Square is one of the symbols of independence of the Belarusian state, a reminder of national liberation movement of Belarus and anti-communist resistance. Secondly, Alexander Lukashenka, initiator of the anti-Belarusian referendum 1995, every day drives to work by the road where a national flag appeared.
13 years ago, on 14 May 1995, a referendum was held on cancelling of white-red-white flag and Pahonia court-of-arms as state symbols, cancelling the status of Belarusian language as a single state language, economic integration with Russia and president’s right to dismiss parliament. Alexander Lukashenka said he didn’t recognize national symbols yet in 1993, one year before the presidential elections. He defiantly wore a BSSR red-green MP badge. An idea of a referendum was firstly introduced by Lukashenka at a session of the Supreme Soviet in March 1995.
As it was found out later, sketch of the ‘new’ court-of-arms was worked out in the cabinet of Leanid Sinitsyn, head of the Presidential Administration.
19 deputies of the BPF (Belarusian Popular Front), headed by Zianon Pazniak, embarked on hunger strike, but were beaten up in the parliamentary hall and forced out of the House of Government. Many prominent intellectuals, including Vasil Bykau, stood against the referendum.
The referendum 1995 was set with violation of the Constitution, laws and rules of the Supreme Soviet.
The referendum 1995 was set with violation of the Constitution, laws and rules of the Supreme Soviet. The referendum contradicted to the Constitution, which was announced at the discussion in the Supreme Soviet.