Škloŭ authorities declare round table "mass event"
Members of the civil initiative "Škloŭ Magistrate" and Mahiloŭ regional organization of the NGO "Belarusian Language Society named after F. Skaryna" appealed to the Škloŭ District Executive Committee with a proposal to co-host a round table on the role of local government and the history of Magdeburg rights in the Škloŭ area. The reply from the executive committee said that it was necessary to apply in accordance with the Law "On mass events", and the appeal would be considered only in this case.
As reported by the Škloŭ independent newspaper "Škloŭ-Info" (№ 9 for May 2015), the proposal to co-host the event was filed to Škloŭ District Executive Committee by the chairman of the Mahiloŭ regional organization of the NGO "Belarusian Language Society named after F. Skaryna" Yaraslau Klimuts'. In response, he received from Škloŭ District Executive Committee the letter №483-vu dated April 10, 2015, signed by the chairman of the Škloŭ District Executive Committee Aliaksandr Boika. The official informed the applicant that "To your appeal regarding the public round table on "Magdeburg tradition in Mahiloŭ" in Škloŭ on April 18, 2015, Škloŭ District Executive Committee, in accordance with Article 5 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus of December 30, 1997 №114-Z "On mass events in Belarus," you haven't implemented the requirements of the proper execution of the application, namely: you haven't specified the location, funding source of the mass event, first name, date of birth and nationality of the organizer. Based on the above, you need to apply to the Škloŭ District Executive Committee in accordance with the above-mentioned Law, after which the application will be considered and a decision will be taken."
The local community expected the regional authorities to make friendly steps and a proposal for holding the event at the town hall of Škloŭ or the local museum, writes "Škloŭ-Info". Instead, the activists received an incomprehensible refusal despite the fact that the head of the state, Aliaksandr Lukashenka, used at one time to take an active part in the restoration of the Škloŭ Hall.
As a result, the round table on the Magdeburg tradition and local self-government in the Mahiloŭ region, which was attended not only by the local civil society activists, but also guests from Mahiloŭ, Minsk, and even France, was held in a private apartment in Škloŭ.
It is absolutely incomprehensible why this non-political event was so undesirable for the Škloŭ authorities.