YEREVAN (Armenpress)–An Armenian member of the Georgian parliament expressed his concerns that a new bill on state language–set for consideration by the parliament soon–may spark new controversy by triggering hot debates in both parliament and the regions populated by national minorities.
Van Bayburdian–who represents the Armenian populated region of Javakhk in the parliament–said on Tuesday–July 2–that the new bill on state language that makes knowledge of Georgian obligatory for all contenders to government posts–may force the one million national minority community to take to streets to protect their right to national identity.
The bill consideration has been several times postponed at the request of the President Eduard Shevardnadze. Some nationalistic Georgian deputies demand that all non-Georgians–holding posts in the government agencies–should take examinations in Georgian language and be removed from their post if they fail to pass it.
Bayburdian–though agreeing that a new law is needed–however–claims that its introduction and application should be gradual–taking at least from 5 to 7 years.
In an interview with A-Info news agency–Bayburdian said the Georgian language examination may turn into a new source of corruption and deprive about 1 million national minorities from self-governance.
To avoid controversy he proposes that regions populated with national minorities conduct official correspondence in their native languages and ensure its translation into Georgian.