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    RUSSIAN SCHOOLCHILDREN IN LATVIA FOR STUDYING IN NATIVE TONGUE

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    RIGA, February 27 (RIA Novosti correspondent Anatoly Baranovsky) - Russian schoolchildren in Riga will take to the streets on Friday in protest against the authorities' decision to transfer education of ethnic minorities, including Russian, into the Latvian language from September 1st, 2004.

    According to amendments recently adopted by the Sejmas, senior schoolchildren (of the 10th form) of ethnic minorities will have to study at least 60% of the compulsory curriculum in the state Latvian language.

    According to Yuri Petropavlovsky of the Russian schools' protection HQ, the action will be held after classes near the Freedom Monument in central Riga. Several thousand people are expected to participate in the protests.

    The action will be held in the form of a meeting between Russian school champions, Sejmas and Riga Duma deputies from the left-wing union, For Human Rights Protection in United Latvia.

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