VilNews

THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

19 October 2017
www.holidayinnvilnius.lt/
VilNews has its own Google archive! Type a word in the above search box to find any article.

You can also follow us on Facebook. We have two different pages. Click to open and join.
VilNews Notes & Photos
For messages, pictures, news & information
VilNews Forum
For opinions and discussions
Click on the buttons to open and read each of VilNews' 18 sub-sections

Archive for May, 2012

- Posted by - (0) Comment

Prime Minister
Andrius Kubilius:
We support Germany's side concerning fiscal discipline

State's economy cannot grow without saving, says Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, stressing that Lithuania supports the German side which is in favour of fiscal discipline and saving.

Kubilius says that some countries which have failed to save now suggest resorting to even greater spending, thinking that higher spending would spur economic growth, informs LETA/ELTA.
"Growth and saving always go together. One cannot even dream about the economic growth if the state finances are not stable and there is little trust in the state's finances on the global markets. Therefore, in the French-German debates where France says that saving should be put to an end in order to achieve growth and Germany claims that saving plans must not be abandoned, we clearly support the German side, as I have clearly stated it previously," he said in a telephone interview to the radio Ziniu Radijas from Germany, where the PM is for the Baltic Sea States Summit.
In reaction to the new French President Francois Hollande's statements that the economy cannot expand there where only the disciple is found, Lithuanian PM said that the example of Lithuania and other Baltic States shows the opposite: the economy recovers quickly when the state keeps a strict fiscal discipline.

Category : News

- Posted by - (0) Comment

First ISAF cargo reaches Lithuania from Afghanistan

The first International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) non-military cargo has been safely delivered to Klaipeda State Seaport from Afghanistan, Lithuania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

A total of 76 containers will be further shipped to the United States by sea. This is a result of concentrated and coordinated cooperation between all Lithuanian state institutions and companies in the transport sector, writes LETA/ELTA.
Making use of its unique geopolitical position between the EU and Eastern Neighbourhood countries and intensively cooperating with the U.S. administration, transport and logistics partners, Lithuania has developed new multimodal ISAF cargo transport schemes. The schemes exploit the potential of Lithuanian transport infrastructure and carriers. After the assessment of these circumstances, Lithuania was entrusted with the U.S. ISAF cargo transit via Klaipeda State Seaport.
Lithuania transports the U.S. ISAF cargo from and to Afghanistan via Klaipeda State Seaport and, thus, is part of the Northern Distribution Network, which was established by the United States and the Baltic States as an intermodal route of transportation to ship NATO non-military ISAF cargo to Afghanistan.
The ISAF cargo transportation is useful not only because of the income, but also for the accumulating experience of cargo logistics to Afghanistan. After 2014, when forces of NATO countries will leave Afghanistan, Lithuania will have already established itself in international Asian transit corridors. That will also help other countries to implement their commercial or development cooperation projects in Asia in the future.

Category : News

Who would want to come back to a country that strives on discrimination, racism, injustice and corruption?

- Posted by - (0) Comment

 
Martynas Karys Lithuania is no longer my home, who would want to come back to a country that strives on discrimination, racism, injustice and corruption? A country that has comedians in power positions ( literarily ) and thugs "acting" police. A country that refuses to allow double citizenship status and demands loyalty while it gives nothing back. Don't get me wrong, I love my country ( Lithuania ) but I do not like the situation that is currently there, if there will be no major changes any time soon, there will be no more Lithuania in a couple of decades.

Category : Opinions

My country does not love me…

- Posted by - (0) Comment

 
Monika Valkauskaite My country does not love me...it does not respect me nor does it care for human rights...i am very proud to be born in a beautiful country with strong traditions and ancient language...and i will make sure my kids speak Lithuanian...however, i am not proud of what has become of it....immigration is the best that has happened to Lithuanian people since the independence...Martynas Karys is absolutely right! It is scandalous in so many aspects!

Category : Opinions

The problems in Lithuania are many and complex, but we think it is worth trying to make a difference, if we can, even in one Lithuanian’s life

- Posted by - (0) Comment

 http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/572322_579319278_1757669504_q.jpg
Carol Zupkas My husband's grandparents immigrated to America 100 years ago. In 2009 we moved to Lithuania and it is where we live most of the time now. I think about the story where there were 1000s of star fish on the sea shore. A man walked by a little girl as she picked one up and threw it back into the ocean. He stoped and asked her, "Do you think what you are doing will make a difference?" As she threw another star fish into the water she replied, "To this one it will." The problems in Lithuania are many and complex, but we think it is worth trying to make a difference, if we can, even in one Lithuanian's life.

Category : Opinions

Remembering Lithuania’s Cardinal Sladkevicius 12th Anniversary 2012

- Posted by - (0) Comment


Vincentas Sladkevičius, MIC
(August 20, 1920—May 28, 2000)

Vincentas Sladkevičius, MIC (August 20, 1920—May 28, 2000) was a Lithuanian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Kaunas from 1989 to 1996, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1988.

Vincentas Sladkevičius was born in Žasliai, Kaišiadorys, to Mykolas Sladkevičius and his wife Uršule Kavaliauskaite. He was the youngest of five children, his siblings being named Ona, Emilija, Jonas and Marija. After studying at the Kaunas Priest Seminary and Theological Faculty in Kaunas, Sladkevičius was ordained to the priesthood on March 25, 1944. He then did pastoral work in Kaišiadorys until 1959, including serving as a professor and the prefect of studies and discipline at the Kaunas seminary.

On November 14, 1957, Sladkevičius was appointed Auxiliary Bishop sedi datus of Kaišiadorys and Titular Bishop of Abora. He received his episcopal consecration on the following December 25 from Bishop Teofilius Matulionis. However, Bishop Sladkevičius was impeded from performing his ministry by his country's Communist government, and he took up residence at Nemunėlio Radviliškis, where he was under virtual house arrest from 1963 to 1982. He was named Apostolic Administrator ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of Kaišiadorys on July 15, 1982, and became President of the Lithuanian Episcopal Conference on April 27, 1988.

Pope John Paul II created Sladkevičius Cardinal Priest of Spirito Santo alla Ferratella in the consistory of June 28, 1988, and later Archbishop of Kaunas on March 10, 1989. In 1993 the Cardinal entered the Congregation of the Marian Clerics of the Immaculate Conception. He resigned as Kaunas' archbishop on May 4, 1996, after seven years of service. He was awarded the Order of Vytautas the Great in 1998.

V. Sladkevičius died in Kaunas, at age 79. He was buried in the Cathedral-Basilica of Kaunas following a funeral Mass there on June 1, 2000.


An article by KR Slade

Read more…

Category : Front page

Remembering Lithuania’s Cardinal Sladkevicius 12th Anniversary 2012

- Posted by - (3) Comment

Vincentas Sladkevičius, MIC (August 20, 1920—May 28, 2000) was a Lithuanian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Kaunas from 1989 to 1996, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1988.

Vincentas Sladkevičius was born in Žasliai, Kaišiadorys, to Mykolas Sladkevičius and his wife Uršule Kavaliauskaite. He was the youngest of five children, his siblings being named Ona, Emilija, Jonas and Marija. After studying at the Kaunas Priest Seminary and Theological Faculty in Kaunas, Sladkevičius was ordained to the priesthood on March 25, 1944. He then did pastoral work in Kaišiadorys until 1959, including serving as a professor and the prefect of studies and discipline at the Kaunas seminary.

On November 14, 1957, Sladkevičius was appointed Auxiliary Bishop sedi datus of Kaišiadorys and Titular Bishop of Abora. He received his episcopal consecration on the following December 25 from Bishop Teofilius Matulionis. However, Bishop Sladkevičius was impeded from performing his ministry by his country's Communist government, and he took up residence at Nemunėlio Radviliškis, where he was under virtual house arrest from 1963 to 1982. He was named Apostolic Administrator ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of Kaišiadorys on July 15, 1982, and became President of the Lithuanian Episcopal Conference on April 27, 1988.

Pope John Paul II created Sladkevičius Cardinal Priest of Spirito Santo alla Ferratella in the consistory of June 28, 1988, and later Archbishop of Kaunas on March 10, 1989. In 1993 the Cardinal entered the Congregation of the Marian Clerics of the Immaculate Conception. He resigned as Kaunas' archbishop on May 4, 1996, after seven years of service. He was awarded the Order of Vytautas the Great in 1998.

V. Sladkevičius died in Kaunas, at age 79. He was buried in the Cathedral-Basilica of Kaunas following a funeral Mass there on June 1, 2000.


An article by KR Slade

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 

August 20, 1920
Vincentas Sladkevicius, the youngest of five children, is born in the village of Guronys -- a village in the parish of the small town of Zasliai (in central Lithuania), which is equidistant from Vilnius and Kaunas, and close to the towns of Kaisiadorys and today's Electrenai).  His parents, and extended family all living in the same village for 200+ years, are peasant farmers.

 

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 

March 25, 1944
ordained a Catholic priest; pastoral work in Kaisiadorys until 1959, including serving at the Kaunas seminary as a professor and as the prefect of studies and discipline.

 

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 

November 14, 1957
appointed Titular Bishop of Abora, and appointed Auxiliary Bishop 'sedi datus' (i.e., to become bishop upon the death of the incumbent bishop) of Kaisiadorys; consecrated December 25, 1957.


 

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 

1959 to 1976
'Internal exile' and under virtual house arrest:  in the small town of Nemunelio Radviliskis (in Birzai district municipality, in Panevezys County, northern Lithuania on the border with Latvia; 2001 census, population 729). 

 

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 

July 15, 1982
appointed (by Pope John Paul II) Apostolic Administrator of the diocese of Kaisiadorys.


.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

July 15, 1982
named Apostolic Administrator ad nutum Sanctae Sedis ("at the disposition of the Holy See" -- refers to any circumstance involving a conflict of ecclesiastical jurisdiction) of Kaisiadorys.

 

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

April 27, 1988
became President of the Lithuanian Episcopal Conference.

 

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 

1979
named ['in pectore' (i.e., 'in the breast', meaning 'heart'; secretly)] a cardinal by (and known only to) the Pope: to protect him or his congregation from reprisals if his identity were known.

 

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

June 28, 1988
elevated publicly to the College of Cardinals, when it was made public that in 1979 he had been secretly named a cardinal 

 

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 

16 February 1989
Cardinal Vincentas Sladkevicius, for the first time, called for the independence of Lithuania in his sermon at the Kaunas Cathedral. After the services, 200,000 persons gathered in the centre of Kaunas to participate in the dedication of a new monument to freedom to replace the monument that had been torn down by the Soviet authorities after World War II.

 

[Note: March 11, 1990 The Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania was an independence declaration by the Supreme Soviet (i.e. Legislature) of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic It was the first time that a Union Republic declared independence from the dissolving Soviet Union.]

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 

March 10, 1989
named Archbishop of Kaunas on March 10, 1989; he resigned as Kaunas' archbishop on May 4, 1996, having reached the age of  mandatory retirement.

 

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 

1993
the Cardinal joined the religious order, the Congregation of the Marian Clerics of the Immaculate Conception. Henceforth, the initials 'M.I.C.' appear after his name, indicating that he is a member of such religious order.

 

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 

1990 until his death on 28 May 2000
Cardinal Vincentas Sladkevicius lived in the Kaunas Palace of Bishops (M. Valanciaus g. 6, which is directly-beside the front of the Kaunas cathedral), where he died.

 

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 

2000
The cardinal approved the establishment of the Sacral Art Museum in Birstonas
(Birutes Street 8, Birstonas, LT)
http://www.muziejai.lt/Birstonas/Sacral_Birstonas.en.htm
The Museum, near the parish church of Saint Anthony of Padova, is the former rectory where then-Bishop Sladkevicius lived during his decades-long 'internal exile' from his cathedral-seat in the town of Kaisiadorys (LT).   The museum presents two main memorial expositions;  one is dedicated to Vincentas Sladkevicius, who became Lithuania's second cardinal in history; the other is dedicated to Teofilis Matulionis, the martyred Archbishop.

 

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

In the first decade of the 21st century

1)  The Kaisiadorys bishop's office, at Kestucio gatve 44 (in Kaisiadorys), has maintained a room, open to the public, and dedicated to the memory of Cardinal Sladkevicius.

2)  The diocese of Kaisiadorys has built the 'Cardinal Sladkevicius Memorial Park' -- a rosary park, conference centre, and monastery -- in his native village of Guronys, near the small town of Zasliai. 
          The Park is about one/two km from the 'Zasliai train station' (which is actually in Guronys village, and not in Zasliai);  Zasliai train station to the Zasliai (St. Jurgis) church is 3.6 km; Vilnius-Kaunas highway to Zasliai train station is 4 km.
         
From the Zasliai train station to the Park, the narrow road passes a wooden-cross monument dedicated to the birthplace of Cardinal Sladkevicius.  However, his actual birthplace (and where he lived until his father died) is one of a group of three or four houses (on both sides of the road), only a few meters past this cross-monument.
         
Some 800 meters further is the Park -- on the exact location of the land of the 200+ years former farmstead of the Sladkevicius family, where the cardinal lived from when he was about nine years old, after his father died.  In addition to the monastery and conference centre, there is the rosary park:  a circle of five (5) small structures / 'chapels' in a circle. These structures, with ~4 m2 walls,  have no doors or windows. In the centre of the circle is a larger chapel.  On the exterior walls of the small chapels, are murals:  on the top of each wall are biblical scenes, and on the bottom are scenes from the history of Catholicism in Lithuania. 


.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

4 February 2005
I [together with Fr. J. Farrell Peternal, of Vilnius] visited the Kaunas arch-cathedral, where in the main chapel (to the right of the altar) he is buried in the floor.

          To the left of the front of the arch-cathedral is the 'bishop's palace' where the cardinal lived from when he was archbishop and until his death. 

Since his death, his former residence has become the 'Cardinal Sladkevicius Museum' (of Kaunas) http://kaunas.lcn.lt/03/muziejus/index.html
http://www.muziejai.lt/prev_vers/Kaunas/Sladkeviciaus_muz.htm#Kardinolo V. Sladkevičiaus muziejus
The museum exhibition (in 2005) consisted of memorial and literary sections.  The memorial section contains three authentically restored rooms of the Cardinal's apartment. Restored pieces of memorial furniture are exposed in his office/study and in his bedroom.  In the library, visitors can see restored bookcases.  The large parlour is also furnished with restored memorial furniture.  On the occasion of the Museum’s opening, the Kaunas Archdiocese had a portrait of the Cardinal made by the painter A. Vaitkunas. The decor and furnishings were not luxurious.
         
At the museum, we met with the director, Irena Petraitiene. She has written two books about the cardinal. The first book, Kardinolas: Jo Eminencijos Vincento Sladkeviciaus Laikas ir Asmenybe, was published in 2000, a couple of months before his death. When he saw the book, he asked her, "Why did you do that?"  Her second book, Padaryk Mane Gerumo Zenklu -- Prisiminimai apie kardinola Vincenta Sladkeviciu, was published in 2003, in Kaunas by: Kardinolo V Sladkeviciaus memorialinis butas-muziejus (i.e. the museum).
          She related to us: ". . . (she) arrived here, to write a story about him, the summer before he died" . . .  "(she) was present at the time of his death" . . .  (about his childhood, in poverty) "two months a year, they ate bread and strawberry jam" . . . "when he was a child, he had problems with his legs; rickets" . . . 
         
"When he was in 'internal exile', his mother (i.e. Ursule Sladkeviciene 1885 to 1970) was living with him; she died, and he found a farmer to transport him and her body back to their hometown of Zasliai, where she is buried -- directly in front of and facing the parish church of St. George" . . . 
         
"He was sick for six to seven years before his death"  . . .  "prostate cancer" . . .  "he would not take conventional medicines, or medical treatments" . . . "he took homeopathic medicines" . . .  he said, "I will suffer like Christ on the cross" . . . 
         
"He died in his bed; the same bed that is in the other room, here" . . . "the priest giving the last rites, said, 'Lord, open the gates of heaven, for your servant' . . .  " that is when he passed away."

Category : Lithuania today

Lithuania’s planned LNG terminal could supply Baltic Region

- Posted by - (0) Comment


Rokas Masiulis, General Manager
of Klaipedos Nafta

Lithuania’s planned floating liquefied natural-gas terminal on the Baltic sea will have the capacity to supply neighboring Baltic countries.

The floating storage regasification unit could supply neighboring Latvia either via gas pipelines or by shipping the vessel to the country’s port in Riga, Rokas Masiulis, chief executive officer of Lithuania’s oil terminal Klaipedos Nafta AB (KNF1L), said in a press conference in Vilnius today.

The Baltic region is working to diversify its imports from Russia’s OAO Gazprom, its sole supplier. Lithuania agreed to lease a floating gas storage facility from Norway’s Hoegh LNG to begin operations in the Klaipeda port at the end of 2014.

“Technically this terminal in Klaipeda has no barriers to service the whole region,” Masiulis said. “The vessel could be located in Riga in summer and supply Latvia’s underground storage facility and then relocate to Klaipeda in winter.”
The gas pipeline infrastructure connecting Latvia and Lithuania still requires upgrades, he said.

Klaipedos Nafta, which is 70.63 percent owned by the state, plans to borrow 293 million litai ($107.3 million) for investment in the gas terminal from commercial banks or international lenders such as the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and the Nordic Investment Bank.
Klaipedos is in talks with as many as 9 nine potential gas suppliers for the terminal and plans a tender on gas contracts in the third quarter this year, Masiulis said. Qatar Liquefied Gas Co. and Norway’s Statoil ASA (STL) are among possible suppliers for the terminal.
Estonia is studying its separate LNG solution for the country. Vopak LNG Holding BV, a unit of Royal Vopak NV, is conducting a feasibility study for a terminal at Muuga harbor, near Tallinn. The study is expected to be presented to the Economy Ministry in August.

Category : News

- Posted by - (3) Comment

Message to all U.S.-Lithuanians:

Come home, your

country needs you!

Description: http://www.travel.lt/ntisFiles/uploadedImages/Lithuania20083234250.jpg
www.travel.lt

By Aage Myhre
Editor-in-Chief
aage.myhre@VilNews.com 

Our series on US-Lithuanians and their contact with the home country Lithuania has come to an end. Through nearly two months we have brought stories and articles in which the goal has been to shed light on both issues and individual cases, and it shall not be denied that many of the articles have revealed major differences, different mindsets and sometimes bitterness between today's Lithuanians and various emigrant groups in United States. There is still no doubt in my mind that there is much genuine love for the homeland in many diaspora groups, even among the descendants of people who came to America more than 100 years ago when the first major exodus from Lithuania took place.

My thinking is that today’s Lithuanian leaders should do whatever they could to invite and facilitate for as many emigrants as possible to return home, preferably for permanent living but at least for more frequent visits. There should be spared no effort to create more attractive conditions for the return of the fellow-countrymen to Lithuania. The US-Lithuanians’ wisdom, experience, knowledge and investments is still very much needed here.

Thousands of exiles spent half a century in America since WWII, waiting to come home, dreaming of a Lithuania as it was in its pre-communist days. But relatively few did move home despite the newfound freedom for their home country in 1990-1991.  The contrast between living in the United States and in a country where the understanding of democracy and 

Western-style leadership that still today is quite deficient has probably appeared too dramatic for many. Had liberation 

come in the 1960s this would probably have been completely different.

 

Description: http://vilnews.com/wp-content/themes/wpremix3/images/authors/valdas_a.jpg Valdas Adamkus

 

 

There have, however, also been good moves to reunite the Lithuanian people in the USA and Lithuania. In 1998 Lithuanians elected a Lithuanian-American President, Valdas Adamkus, who returned to his homeland in 1997 after nearly 50 years in the U.S. Adamkus' post and position was largely symbolic, and he vowed to curb corruption, steer the country westward and restore "moral dignity" to government. As the nation's neighbours, Latvia and Estonia, Lithuania hit the fast track to NATO and E.U. membership, he was calculating that left-behind Lithuania would be ready for forward movement as well-to bury the ghosts from its Nazi and communist occupation, settle old scores and move westward into the 21st century. But the resistance against him was huge. In 1998, a member of the far-left wing put it: "Adamkus won the presidential elections by 14,000 votes.  Is that a mandate to import Americans?"

Despite controversy, Adamkus continued to believe that importing Lithuanian-Americans was good for his country. "You know that when you need experience you can get it," he said. And even some of Adamkus' political rivals agreed. Vytautas Landsbergis, the fiery parliament speaker who led the Sajudis movement that won Lithuania's independence, welcomed the Americans. He said they had brought "a feeling of hope that helped Lithuania overcome the danger of depression.

Suspicion, however, does hang in the air, still today. One of Adamkus' goals was to deal with some of the dark corners of Lithuanian history, bringing to justice those who too eagerly aided foreign occupiers-first the Nazis, then the Soviets. In the late 1990s the Seimas passed a "lustration" law banning former officers of the Soviet KGB from holding jobs in the judiciary, security forces, diplomatic corps, banks and even in some private sector industries. To many Lithuanians Adamkus, was the man to heal his homeland's wounds, but the challenge was huge and the old ‘nomenklatura’ continued to play main roles in a society that desperately needed a total clean up.

 

Jonas Kronkaitis

 

Another interesting move took place when retired U.S. Army Colonel Jonas Kronkaitis became commander of the Lithuanian armed forces. Kronkaitis, who fled Lithuania as a young boy during World War II, served 27 years in the U.S. Army, including two years in Vietnam, and went through Ranger training with Colin Powell. But despite those military qualifications, Kronkaitis, whose reform agenda was focused on getting the tiny army up to NATO level in shortest possible time, did not sit well with some Lithuanians, especially the Soviet-trained members of the elite officer corps and the hard-liners among the reformed communists in the parliament.

People like Adamkus and Kronkaitis have done much to establish and improve ties between Lithuanians in the U.S. and in the home country here on the Baltic Sea shore. Also, many others could be mentioned. But there is still very much work to do regarding reconciliation and bridge building.

We have through this series sought to identify younger US-Lithuanians and other people who have ties and feelings towards their homeland even though they have never lived here. I think we have succeeded relatively well with regard to these efforts, and I hope that our goals of building new bridges with the help of communication has sown some small seeds that may lead to renewed contacts and more mutual understanding.

I hope to see many of our U.S. readers move here to actively take part in the further development of the tiny but amazing country called Lithuania! Thank you for following us!

Category : Blog archive

U.S.-Nordic-Baltic cooperation

- Posted by - (0) Comment


By Dr. Stasys Backaitis

Conference on U.S.-Nordic-Baltic Cooperation:
Shaping the U.S.-European Agenda

The conference provided an overview by U.S. and European researchers and political experts on the importance, need and benefits of a close U.S. collaboration with the Nordic-Baltic region. The collaboration would facilitate building a wider and more secure Europe, reinforcing U.S. attention to transatlantic engagement, and achieving a more constructive dialog with Russia leading to democratization of its society. The conference took place on Friday, May 4, 2012, at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of the John Hopkins University, Washington, D.C.

Read more...

Category : Front page

OPINIONS

Have your say. Send to:
editor@VilNews.com


By Dr. Boris Vytautas Bakunas,
Ph. D., Chicago

A wave of unity sweeps the international Lithuanian community on March 11th every year as Lithuanians celebrated the anniversary of the Lithuanian Parliament's declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. However, the sense of national unity engendered by the celebration could be short-lived.

Human beings have a strong tendency to overgeneralize and succumb to stereotypical us-them distinctions that can shatter even the strongest bonds. We need only search the internet to find examples of divisive thinking at work:

- "50 years of Soviet rule has ruined an entire generation of Lithuanian.

- "Those who fled Lithuania during World II were cowards -- and now they come back, flaunt their wealth, and tell us 'true Lithuanians' how to live."

- "Lithuanians who work abroad have abandoned their homeland and should be deprived of their Lithuanian citizenship."

Could such stereotypical, emotionally-charged accusations be one of the main reasons why relations between Lithuania's diaspora groups and their countrymen back home have become strained?

Read more...
* * *


Text: Saulene Valskyte

In Lithuania Christmas Eve is a family event and the New Year's Eve a great party with friends!
Lithuanian say "Kaip sutiksi naujus metus, taip juos ir praleisi" (the way you'll meet the new year is the way you will spend it). So everyone is trying to spend New Year's Eve with friend and have as much fun as possible.

Lithuanian New Year's traditions are very similar to those in other countries, and actually were similar since many years ago. Also, the traditional Lithuanian New Years Eve party was very similar to other big celebrations throughout the year.

The New Year's Eve table is quite similar to the Christmas Eve table, but without straws under the tablecloth, and now including meat dishes. A tradition that definitely hasn't changes is that everybody is trying not to fell asleep before midnight. It was said that if you oversleep the midnight point you will be lazy all the upcoming year. People were also trying to get up early on the first day of the new year, because waking up late also meant a very lazy and unfortunate year.

During the New Year celebration people were dancing, singing, playing games and doing magic to guess the future. People didn't drink much of alcohol, especially was that the case for women.

Here are some advices from elders:
- During the New Year, be very nice and listen to relatives - what you are during New Year Eve, you will be throughout the year.

- During to the New Year Eve, try not to fall, because if this happens, next year you will be unhappy.

- If in the start of the New Year, the first news are good - then the year will be successful. If not - the year will be problematic.

New year predictions
* If during New Year eve it's snowing - then it will be bad weather all year round. If the day is fine - one can expect good harvest.
* If New Year's night is cold and starry - look forward to a good summer!
* If the during New Year Eve trees are covered with frost - then it will be a good year. If it is wet weather on New Year's Eve, one can expect a year where many will die and dangerous epidemics occur.
* If the first day of the new year is snowy - the upcoming year will see many young people die. If the night is snowy - mostly old people will die.
* If the New Year time is cold - then Easter will be warm.
* If during New Year there are a lot of birds in your homestead - then all year around there will be many guests and the year will be fun.

Read more...
* * *

* * *
VilNews
Christmas greetings
from Vilnius


* * *
Ukraine won the historic
and epic battle for the
future
By Leonidas Donskis
Kaunas
Philosopher, political theorist, historian of
ideas, social analyst, and political
commentator

Immediately after Russia stepped in Syria, we understood that it is time to sum up the convoluted and long story about Ukraine and the EU - a story of pride and prejudice which has a chance to become a story of a new vision regained after self-inflicted blindness.

Ukraine was and continues to be perceived by the EU political class as a sort of grey zone with its immense potential and possibilities for the future, yet deeply embedded and trapped in No Man's Land with all of its troubled past, post-Soviet traumas, ambiguities, insecurities, corruption, social divisions, and despair. Why worry for what has yet to emerge as a new actor of world history in terms of nation-building, European identity, and deeper commitments to transparency and free market economy?

Right? Wrong. No matter how troubled Ukraine's economic and political reality could be, the country has already passed the point of no return. Even if Vladimir Putin retains his leverage of power to blackmail Ukraine and the West in terms of Ukraine's zero chances to accede to NATO due to the problems of territorial integrity, occupation and annexation of Crimea, and mayhem or a frozen conflict in the Donbas region, Ukraine will never return to Russia's zone of influence. It could be deprived of the chances to join NATO or the EU in the coming years or decades, yet there are no forces on earth to make present Ukraine part of the Eurasia project fostered by Putin.

Read more...
* * *
Watch this video if you
want to learn about the
new, scary propaganda
war between Russia,
The West and the
Baltic States!


* * *
90% of all Lithuanians
believe their government
is corrupt
Lithuania is perceived to be the country with the most widespread government corruption, according to an international survey involving almost 40 countries.

Read more...
* * *
Lithuanian medical
students say no to
bribes for doctors

On International Anticorruption Day, the Special Investigation Service shifted their attention to medical institutions, where citizens encounter bribery most often. Doctors blame citizens for giving bribes while patients complain that, without bribes, they won't receive proper medical attention. Campaigners against corruption say that bribery would disappear if medical institutions themselves were to take resolute actions against corruption and made an effort to take care of their patients.

Read more...
* * *
Doing business in Lithuania

By Grant Arthur Gochin
California - USA

Lithuania emerged from the yoke of the Soviet Union a mere 25 years ago. Since then, Lithuania has attempted to model upon other European nations, joining NATO, Schengen, and the EU. But, has the Soviet Union left Lithuania?

During Soviet times, government was administered for the people in control, not for the local population, court decisions were decreed, they were not the administration of justice, and academia was the domain of ideologues. 25 years of freedom and openness should have put those bad experiences behind Lithuania, but that is not so.

Today, it is a matter of expectation that court pronouncements will be governed by ideological dictates. Few, if any Lithuanians expect real justice to be effected. For foreign companies, doing business in Lithuania is almost impossible in a situation where business people do not expect rule of law, so, surely Government would be a refuge of competence?

Lithuanian Government has not emerged from Soviet styles. In an attempt to devolve power, Lithuania has created a myriad of fiefdoms of power, each speaking in the name of the Government, each its own centralized power base of ideology.

Read more...
* * *
Greetings from Wales!
By Anita Šovaitė-Woronycz
Chepstow, Wales

Think of a nation in northern Europe whose population is around the 3 million mark a land of song, of rivers, lakes, forests, rolling green hills, beautiful coastline a land where mushrooms grow ready for the picking, a land with a passion for preserving its ancient language and culture.

Doesn't that sound suspiciously like Lithuania? Ah, but I didn't mention the mountains of Snowdonia, which would give the game away.

I'm talking about Wales, that part of the UK which Lithuanians used to call "Valija", but later named "Velsas" (why?). Wales, the nation which has welcomed two Lithuanian heads of state to its shores - firstly Professor Vytautas Landsbergis, who has paid several visits and, more recently, President Dalia Grybauskaitė who attended the 2014 NATO summit which was held in Newport, South Wales.
MADE IN WALES -
ENGLISH VERSION OF THE
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF
VYTAUTAS LANDSBERGIS.

Read more...
* * *
IS IT POSSIBLE TO
COMMENT ON OUR
ARTICLES? :-)
Read Cassandra's article HERE

Read Rugile's article HERE

Did you know there is a comment field right after every article we publish? If you read the two above posts, you will see that they both have received many comments. Also YOU are welcome with your comments. To all our articles!
* * *

Greetings from Toronto
By Antanas Sileika,
Toronto, Canada

Toronto was a major postwar settlement centre for Lithuanian Displaced Persons, and to this day there are two Catholic parishes and one Lutheran one, as well as a Lithuanian House, retirement home, and nursing home. A new wave of immigrants has showed interest in sports.

Although Lithuanian activities have thinned over the decades as that postwar generation died out, the Lithuanian Martyrs' parish hall is crowded with many, many hundreds of visitors who come to the Lithuanian cemetery for All Souls' Day. Similarly, the Franciscan parish has standing room only for Christmas Eve mass.

Although I am firmly embedded in the literary culture of Canada, my themes are usually Lithuanian, and I'll be in Kaunas and Vilnius in mid-November 2015 to give talks about the Lithuanian translations of my novels and short stories, which I write in English.

If you have the Lithuanian language, come by to one of the talks listed in the links below. And if you don't, you can read more about my work at
www.anatanassileika.com

http://www.vdu.lt/lt/rasytojas-antanas-sileika-pristatys-savo-kuryba/
https://leu.lt/lt/lf/lf_naujienos/kvieciame-i-rasytojo-59hc.html
* * *

As long as VilNews exists,
there is hope for the future
Professor Irena Veisaite, Chairwoman of our Honorary Council, asked us to convey her heartfelt greetings to the other Council Members and to all readers of VilNews.

"My love and best wishes to all. As long as VilNews exists, there is hope for the future,"" she writes.

Irena Veisaite means very much for our publication, and we do hereby thank her for the support and wise commitment she always shows.

You can read our interview with her
HERE.
* * *
EU-Russia:
Facing a new reality

By Vygaudas Ušackas
EU Ambassador to the Russian Federation

Dear readers of VilNews,

It's great to see this online resource for people interested in Baltic affairs. I congratulate the editors. From my position as EU Ambassador to Russia, allow me to share some observations.

For a number of years, the EU and Russia had assumed the existence of a strategic partnership, based on the convergence of values, economic integration and increasingly open markets and a modernisation agenda for society.

Our agenda was positive and ambitious. We looked at Russia as a country ready to converge with "European values", a country likely to embrace both the basic principles of democratic government and a liberal concept of the world order. It was believed this would bring our relations to a new level, covering the whole spectrum of the EU's strategic relationship with Russia.

Read more...
* * *

The likelihood of Putin
invading Lithuania
By Mikhail Iossel
Professor of English at Concordia University, Canada
Founding Director at Summer Literary Seminars

The likelihood of Putin's invading Lithuania or fomenting a Donbass-style counterfeit pro-Russian uprising there, at this point, in my strong opinion, is no higher than that of his attacking Portugal, say, or Ecuador. Regardless of whether he might or might not, in principle, be interested in the insane idea of expanding Russia's geographic boundaries to those of the former USSR (and I for one do not believe that has ever been his goal), he knows this would be entirely unfeasible, both in near- and long-term historical perspective, for a variety of reasons. It is not going to happen. There will be no restoration of the Soviet Union as a geopolitical entity.

Read more...
* * *

Are all Lithuanian energy
problems now resolved?
By Dr. Stasys Backaitis,
P.E., CSMP, SAE Fellow Member of Central and Eastern European Coalition, Washington, D.C., USA

Lithuania's Energy Timeline - from total dependence to independence

Lithuania as a country does not have significant energy resources. Energy consuming infrastructure after WWII was small and totally supported by energy imports from Russia.

First nuclear reactor begins power generation at Ignalina in 1983, the second reactor in 1987. Iganlina generates enough electricity to cover Lithuania's needs and about 50%.for export. As, prerequisite for membership in EU, Ignalina ceases all nuclear power generation in 2009

The Klaipėda Sea terminal begins Russia's oil export operations in 1959 and imports in 1994.

Mazeikiu Nafta (current ORLEAN Lietuva) begins operation of oil refinery in 1980.

Read more...
* * *

Have Lithuanian ties across
the Baltic Sea become
stronger in recent years?
By Eitvydas Bajarunas
Ambassador to Sweden

My answer to affirmative "yes". Yes, Lithuanian ties across the Baltic Sea become as never before solid in recent years. For me the biggest achievement of Lithuania in the Baltic Sea region during recent years is boosting Baltic and Nordic ties. And not because of mere accident - Nordic direction was Lithuania's strategic choice.

The two decades that have passed since regaining Lithuania's independence can be described as a "building boom". From the wreckage of a captive Soviet republic, a generation of Lithuanians have built a modern European state, and are now helping construct a Nordic-Baltic community replete with institutions intended to promote political coordination and foster a trans-Baltic regional identity. Indeed, a "Nordic-Baltic community" - I will explain later in my text the meaning of this catch-phrase.

Since the restoration of Lithuania's independence 25 years ago, we have continuously felt a strong support from Nordic countries. Nordics in particular were among the countries supporting Lithuania's and Baltic States' striving towards independence. Take example of Iceland, country which recognized Lithuania in February of 1991, well in advance of other countries. Yet another example - Swedish Ambassador was the first ambassador accredited to Lithuania in 1991. The other countries followed suit. When we restored our statehood, Nordic Countries became champions in promoting Baltic integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. To large degree thanks Nordic Countries, massive transformations occurred in Lithuania since then, Lithuania became fully-fledged member of the EU and NATO, and we joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2015.

Read more...
* * *

It's the economy, stupid *
By Valdas (Val) Samonis,
PhD, CPC

n his article, Val Samonis takes a comparative policy look at the Lithuanian economy during the period 2000-2015. He argues that the LT policy response (a radical and classical austerity) was wrong and unenlightened because it coincided with strong and continuing deflationary forces in the EU and the global economy which forces were predictable, given the right policy guidance. Also, he makes a point that LT austerity, and the resulting sharp drop in GDP and employment in LT, stimulated emigration of young people (and the related worsening of other demographics) which processes took huge dimensions thereby undercutting even the future enlightened efforts to get out of the middle-income growth trap by LT. Consequently, the country is now on the trajectory (development path) similar to that of a dog that chases its own tail. A strong effort by new generation of policymakers is badly needed to jolt the country out of that wrong trajectory and to offer the chance of escaping the middle-income growth trap via innovations.

Read more...
* * *

Have you heard about the
South African "Pencil Test"?
By Karina Simonson

If you are not South African, then, probably, you haven't. It is a test performed in South Africa during the apartheid regime and was used, together with the other ways, to determine racial identity, distinguishing whites from coloureds and blacks. That repressive test was very close to Nazi implemented ways to separate Jews from Aryans. Could you now imagine a Lithuanian mother, performing it on her own child?

But that is exactly what happened to me when I came back from South Africa. I will tell you how.

Read more...
* * *
Click HERE to read previous opinion letters >



VilNews e-magazine is published in Vilnius, Lithuania. Editor-in-Chief: Mr. Aage Myhre. Inquires to the editorseditor@VilNews.com.
Code of Ethics: See Section 2 – about VilNewsVilNews  is not responsible for content on external links/web pages.
HOW TO ADVERTISE IN VILNEWS.
All content is copyrighted © 2011. UAB ‘VilNews’.

مبلمان اداری صندلی مدیریتی صندلی اداری میز اداری وبلاگدهی فروشگاه اینترنتی پاراگلایدر زیورآلات آگهی استخدام آگهی رایگان تبلیغات کلیکی آموزش زبان انگلیسی پاراگلایدر ساخت وبلاگ