The Center for Belarusian Studies extends its congratulations to President Survilla!

Ivonka Joanna Survilla Receives Diamond Jubilee Medal for Lifelong Work to Restore Democracy in Belarus

Ottawa. May 7, 2013 – Ms. Ivonka Joanna Survilla, President of the Rada (Parliament) of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile, yesterday was presented a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

“The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal recognizes Canadians whose service to Canada and the world reflects the dedication demonstrated by Her Majesty’s 60 years on the throne,” said Senator Raynell Andreychuk, who nominated Ms. Survilla for the award.

“It is a privileged to be able to present this honour in recognition of someone who has done so much to sow the seeds of democracy in Belarus,” said Senator Andreychuk. “Democracy will not come to Belarus tomorrow, but it will come, and Ms. Survilla’s contribution has been instrumental in that process.”

Ivonka Joanna Survilla was born in Belarus, and raised in France. In 1969, she immigrated to Canada. In 1989, she co-founded the Canadian Relief Fund for Chernobyl Victims in Belarus (CRFCVB) –sending medical aid to Belarusan hospitals and bringing young victims of Chernobyl for summer stays in the healthy Canadian environment.

In 1997, Ms. Survilla was elected President of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile. In that capacity, she has worked toward the restoration of democratic processes in Belarus. Ms. Survilla was re-elected to her third term as President of the BNR Rada on April 18, 2010.

“I am honoured by this recognition as a Canadian citizen,” said Ms. Survilla; “but also because it will help raise awareness about the situation in Belarus.  That has been, and continues to be, my life’s work.”


Giving Voice: Center for Belarusian Studies White Paper Series

The Center for Belarusian Studies is pleased to announce a new initiative for 2013. In light of the increased censorship of those engaged in commenting about the status of civil society in Belarus, whether in higher education or in the media, the Center of Belarusian Studies would like to provide a location for the expression and the exchange of ideas as a way to encourage the presence of so many important voices in the public sphere. The Center invites submissions for publication on its website on topics relevant to the contemporary issues and past experiences that affect Belarus.

Papers of no more than 1000 words will be considered for publication according to the following process:

1.    submission of a proposed topic to our editorial staff;

2.    upon approval, submission of the completed article in Belarusian;

3.    completion of editorial process (for clarity not content)

4.    translation by Center staff into English

5.    Publication on the site

Authors will be compensated at $50.00 USD per 250 words of text. Payment will be made upon receipt of the completed approved manuscript.

Authors retain copyright of their texts but will allow the CBS the right to publish their article in hard copy in a future publication.

The Center plans on publishing an average of two articles per month.

Proposals should be sent to Dr. M. Paula Survilla, Executive Director of the Center at

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