23 January 2018
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The President and the World-Lithuanians on collision course?

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Regina Narusiene, President of the World Lithuanian Community 

REGINA NARUSIENE: “The majority, I believe, are disappointed and discouraged with the present president’s seemingly unfriendly view toward Lithuanian-Americans and others abroad.”

The Baltic Times writes that Lithuanian President Grybauskaite is supposedly “disappointed by Lithuanian émigrés’ inability to attract U.S.-based investments to Lithuania.”  The newspaper refers to a WikiLeaks document.

According to WikiLeaks, Grybauskaite emphasizes that most prominent U.S. Lithuanian émigrés, instead of focusing on developing U.S.- Lithuanian business ties, prefer providing political advice to the Lithuanian authorities, which may not be that necessary nowadays.

In a response to The Baltic Times, Regina Narusiene, President of the World Lithuanian Community, says that “The majority of Lithuanian-Americans are disappointed with Grybauskaite.”

“How do Lithuanian-Americans’ views generally differ on the former U.S.-much-linked President Valdas Adamkus and his successor, Dalia Grybauskaite? Which is favored?,” the newspaper asks Narusiene.

And she answers: “There are different points of view. Some favor President Adamkus, but the majority, I believe, are disappointed and discouraged with the present president’s seemingly unfriendly view toward Lithuanian Americans and others abroad.”

“There is the tendency of some Lithuanian politicians to think that “Lithuania belongs to the Lithuanians.” By that they mean those living in Lithuania only. The people of Lithuania have a more favorable view of Lithuanians living abroad.” 

“The Lithuanians abroad have brought many investments to Lithuania. However, I want to emphasize, Lithuania has been having a difficult time setting an investment climate competitive with other countries.”

“Collaboration can have different meanings. Our private ties with the country after independence never diminished, but, in fact, intensified. Economic ties are different. A great deal of money is sent to Lithuania by Lithuanians abroad, especially to their family and friends. I believe an amount equal to about 20 percent of Lithuania’s annual national budget. Some firms have located in Lithuania, but Lithuania has to maintain an inviting environment for investment, which they are developing. Cultural collaboration, however, I admit, has been weak. There is a Lithuanian opera in Chicago that has been collaborating with the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theater. We have participated in the Dance Festivals in Lithuania and sent works of art to Lithuania. Some of the entertainers from Lithuania have come to us to entertain, but working out joint programs has been difficult.”

“Can you think of any cases when Lithuanian émigrés cut off their ties with the Motherland because of the lack of the political will to adopt a dual-citizenship law?,” Baltic Times asks.

“There are a number of new émigrés who have simply said, “I can do better and live more securely abroad. If they do not want us, then why bother.” Unfortunately, these are well educated young people that Lithuania cannot afford to lose. In several instances, the taking away of Lithuanian citizenship has forced some to keep foreign citizenship so as not to lose their means of support, their pension.”


* * *

Aroundhalf of allLithuaniansin the worldlive outsidetheir home country. They represent a humanresourceLithuaniadesperately needstoget the country back on its feet again after 50 years of bloody wars, genocides,deportations, Soviet oppressionand now two decadeswithmuchmuddle and confusion instead of professional focuson collaboration and team work amongitsown populations here and abroad.

I suggestthat thepresidentreaches outandinvitesallLithuanians,and friends of this countryaround theworld,toa close and constructive cooperation.A continued conflictis truly meaningless and devastating.  

Aage Myhre, Editor-in-Chief

Lithuania would benefit significantly by availing
itself of the expertise and knowledge found
in the Diaspora communities…

Category : Blog archive
  • Richardas J. Piragis

    My grandparents left Lithuania because of Soviet oppression (Bolsheviks) and NOW after decades of oppression plus brainwashing Lithuania has turned into a psuedo Soviet government. Just look at the last names…..Russian. Diaspora communities….ask yourself WHY? Have you honestly asked yourself WHY? Just because a land has pretty lakes, streams and buildings does not welcome us back……..not when crime, corruption, bribery, hate, greed, and distrust is around every corner. WE can get all that here…..why waste money traveling. And Lithuania keeps my ancestry hostage with miles of red tape… we go without knowing. Well, it must be God's way of saying….ignorance is bliss.

    April 14 2012


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