It is not good to begin an address to the world with lies. But Lukashenka did it. “We attach particular importance to the prevention of armed conflicts and threats to human life,” said the head of state who supplies arms both to al-Assad and Syria’s radical opposition. We don’t care whether you will kill each other, money makes the world go round.
Well, one can say that Syria is too far away from us. But wait: do you really think that a Russian air base that is to be deployed in Belarus is not a ‘threat to life’? In case of conflict, Russia will use our land as a buffer and battlefield once again. A Russian base is not a guarantee of safety, it is a target for NATO forces for a preemptive strike. And it will be here, on our land.
But if one has started telling stories, it is hard to stop. Lukashenka boasted of equality of men and women in our country. But it is a routine practice in our country when women of reproductive age are not hired to jobs, because employers fear that they will get pregnant soon. The women with children face the same problem – hardly any employer welcomes a worker who will be on ‘endless sick leave’. In addition, females’ salaries are lower. Of course, Lukashenka never issued such a decree. But it is him who is responsible for this sick system, he created it and has been nurturing it for 20 years.
Lukashenka states that there is no discrimination on ethnic and religious grounds in Belarus. But can we say that a ban on saying prayers imposed on a Protestant parish is not a form of discrimination? They were fined for prayers, the riot police broke into their house – not discrimination? The police appeal to Belarusians: “Beware of the Gypsies” – don’t you find it discriminating? But it is the Belarusian-speaking Belarusians who are being discriminated the most. Why should they file a stack of documents to the authorities, hunt for textbooks in Belarusian, write petitions, look for people who want their children to study in their native language – just to send their kid to a Belarusian-language class? And finally, isn’t it discrimination when Belarusians are jailed only for using their national symbols – the white-red-white flag and the emblem Pahonia?
And Lukashenka completely forgot to say that disabled persons ‘are not discriminated’ in Belarus. In fact, it happens at every step: from the lack of wheelchair ramps to the authorities’ recent attempt to take the child from the ‘ill’ parents.
Why was he telling lies from the UN rostrum? Not only to consolidate the image of a stable and fair country ruled by a peacekeeping leader. He also wants to make lying a standard practice. “War is peace,” George Orwell said in ‘1984’. For the sake of such ‘peace’ and contrary to the Constitution, we let foreign troops come to our country, we are pushed into a big geopolitical game – as a figure head, and but we hear our leader speaking about ‘preventing conflicts’ from the UN rostrum. Discrimination is just about to become a standard practice.
But as long as it has not happen, Lukashenka is haunted by the fate of Gaddafi, who also used to build the system on lies, populism and discrimination. He was in power over 40 years, but came to a sticky end.