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THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

28 May 2017
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Archive for July, 2012

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Jenifer C. Dillis I'm on my way............
In my mind.


Rimgaudas Vidziunas your photos are making me miss Lietuva. Problem is if I go there, I will not come back to Arizona.


Aage Myhre I'll help you to find a fine Old Town place to live in Rimgaudas :) I'll show you where to shop, eat, drink, find friends... Just go ahead buying your air ticket!

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Rimgaudas Vidziunas I have done some architectural photography, plenty of old buildings to keep me busy...and I can always run away to my shack in Pramedziava ;)

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Aage Myhre Lithuania has a very special, strong energy...

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Jenifer C. Dillis psssst, Rimgaudas Vidziunas, keep it up , and I WON'T swing by AZ to pick you up on my way to visit our friendAage Myhre in OUR Old Town...♥ ;)

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Rimgaudas Vidziunas ♥♥

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Jenifer C. Dillis Bring plenty of batteries for your camera, Rimgaudas Vidziunas! We'll wander, and shoot whatever our artistic eyes decide to capture! Soooooooooo many great architecture shots in Old Town...I need to go browse my 3000+ photos taken in Lietuva...I miss the calmness my heart felt with each footstep...


Daiva Repeckaite I remember those times when we were often eating ice-cream on this square. That was before the reconstruction, which removed the cozy shade, and eventually the square was surrounded by Armani shops. The paths of posh people driving around in fancy cars and hipsters moving from Cafe de Paris (does it still/already exist?) to ŠMC can still cross. I have a strong dislike for the place now, but there are other nice spaces to enjoy summer in Vilnius: Sereikiškių park, a small park near St.Catherine's church with several cafes, Mokytojų namai courtyard, etc. I'm glad you are enjoying nice weather over there, make the most of it!


Raimundas Ray Laurinavicius ‎Daiva Repeckaite Cafe de Paris still exists and is alive and well, still full of hipsters, Sereikiskiu parkas is under construction, will open again only next year, all other places are buzzing strong, but mostly in the summer months.


Randy Jackson Nice picture. It makes me want to visit right now.


Jola Pasuk eh, jednak ladne nasze Wilno :)


Siga Eidukonis This is a great street where people from all over the world mingle and meet!


Vytenis Folkmanas Va hasta gente de Venezuela !!


Kestas Zak Why wait?....;o)
Category : Opinions

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Darius Kuolys, 50, was the first culture and education minister of the re-established independent state of Lithuania, back in 1990-1992 – then he was still in his twenties. Now Kuolys is professor of the history of literature in Vilnius University. In 1988, during the Soviet occupation, he and his friends started issuing, illegally, their underground cultural magazine Sietynas. From 1998-2002 he was an adviser to Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus. Kuolys is an active participant in the liberal organization Santara-Sviesa, which was created by Lithuanian-American intellectuals in the U.S. in 1957. The organization, which is mostly known for its public intellectual discussions, moved to Lithuania in the 1990s.

Kuolys is known as a human rights activist. He publicly expressed his doubts about the guilt of Egle Kusaite, a 23 year-old convert to Islam who was accused by Lithuanian prosecutors of having terrorist intentions in Russia. Kusaite’s case is still pending in the courts.

This activist is famous as one of the organizers of several protest demonstrations which took place on Vilnius streets and squares this year, to support the demand for justice in the so-called Garliava case. The crime story, which can alter the Lithuanian political landscape after the parliamentary elections in the coming October, is well known by everybody in Lithuania. On Oct. 5, 2009, Drasius Kedys, 37, who said his young daughter had been the victim of pedophiles (including businessman Andrius Usas), gunned down (according to prosecutors’ suggestions, which were never confirmed in court) a Kaunas judge, Jonas Furmanavicius, and Violeta Naruseviciene, who was the aunt of Kedys’ daughter (her mother’s sister). Neringa Venckiene, who is the sister of the deceased Kedys, says that she does not believe that her brother was the killer.

Read more…

Category : News

Report from the annual mass and picnic in Putnam, Connecticut

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The annual Lithuanian mass and picnic, was held in Putnam, Connecticut, United States on Sunday, July 22nd, 2012.

The event was held at the grounds of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception Convent, a beautiful field, with trees and a stone wall forming a perimeter. The day started off with celebration of Catholic mass, in Lithuanian. After the mass there were all sorts of Lithuanian food and beverages; Saltbarsciai, kugelis, chicken dinner, cabbage, Lithuanian Kielbasa, and the Lithuanian beverage gira, to name a few. The sisters wonderful breads sold out fast, they are so popular. Then, there were vendors in the outdoor area, selling Lithuanian T shirts, music, books, jewelry, folk art, and many other items. There were MANY picnic tables, and people also bring their own picnic food as well. Lithuanians travelled from all over the Northeast of USA to come to the event. 

Letter and pictures: Dana Petkaityte

Hello Aage,

The picnic was wonderful!  It was on the grounds of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (convent).  The day started with a Catholic mass celebrated outside, by three Lithuanian priests.  The activities began after mass.  The sisters sold their famous bread (duona), either rye or raisin bread was available.  It always sells out quickly. 

There was music playing over the sound system.  Most was recorded music, and some music and song was live.  The young people from Camp Neringa (a Lithuanian-American summer camp located in the state of Vermont) performed Lithuanian songs and dances in traditional folk costume. 

There was an area with vendors, selling Lithuanian related items.  Such things included clothing, books, music, and amber jewelry.  I purchased a tank top (shirt) to put on my dog "Kola".  She is a German shepherd (Vokieciu aviganis, or "vilkas").  I thought it was appropriate that she should have a shirt with the "Gelezinis vilkas" on it!  Some other people brought their dogs, too. There was even a pony for children to ride!

Many people walked into the wooded area on the grounds, to visit what is known as Father Yla's castle.  It is a castle, I believe in the spirit of Mindaugas, built by Lithuanians in the 1950s, under the supervision of Father Yla.  My own father, I'm proud to say, is one of the people who helped to build the castle.  I took some pictures of it this year, but I also have some other ones from last year.  I will send them in the 4th email.  There were some young ladies doing some sort of presentation about the castle and Lithuanian history, but I'm sorry to say I missed that presentation.  They wore 16th century style costumes. 

Lastly, there was the food!  There was all sorts of food to be eaten; Kugelis, rugstus piena; sausage with bread, potato and sauerkraut; saltibarsciai; chicken with carrots, peas and rice; gira to drink, and pastry and ice cream for dessert.  There were also "hot dogs" for the American taste.  It was all very delicious!

Read more...

Category : Front page

Report from the annual mass and picnic in Putnam, Connecticut

- Posted by - (3) Comment

Description: C:\Users\Aage\Pictures\IMG_1815 (2).JPG
The annual Lithuanian mass and picnic, was held in Putnam, Connecticut, United States on Sunday, July 22nd, 2012.

The event was held at the grounds of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception Convent, a beautiful field, with trees and a stone wall forming a perimeter. The day started off with celebration of Catholic mass, in Lithuanian. After the mass there were all sorts of Lithuanian food and beverages; Saltbarsciai, kugelis, chicken dinner, cabbage, Lithuanian Kielbasa, and the Lithuanian beverage gira, to name a few. The sisters wonderful breads sold out fast, they are so popular. Then, there were vendors in the outdoor area, selling Lithuanian T shirts, music, books, jewelry, folk art, and many other items. There were MANY picnic tables, and people also bring their own picnic food as well. Lithuanians travelled from all over the Northeast to come to the event.

Letter and pictures: Dana Petkaityte

Hello Aage,

The picnic was wonderful!  It was on the grounds of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (convent).  The day started with a Catholic mass celebrated outside, by three Lithuanian priests.  The activities began after mass.  The sisters sold their famous bread (duona), either rye or raisin bread was available.  It always sells out quickly. 

There was music playing over the sound system.  Most was recorded music, and some music and song was live.  The young people from Camp Neringa (a Lithuanian-American summer camp located in the state of Vermont) performed Lithuanian songs and dances in traditional folk costume. 

There was an area with vendors, selling Lithuanian related items.  Such things included clothing, books, music, and amber jewelry.  I purchased a tank top (shirt) to put on my dog "Kola".  She is a German shepherd (Vokieciu aviganis, or "vilkas").  I thought it was appropriate that she should have a shirt with the "Gelezinis vilkas" on it!  Some other people brought their dogs, too. There was even a pony for children to ride!

Many people walked into the wooded area on the grounds, to visit what is known as Father Yla's castle.  It is a castle, I believe in the spirit of Mindaugas, built by Lithuanians in the 1950s, under the supervision of Father Yla.  My own father, I'm proud to say, is one of the people who helped to build the castle.  I took some pictures of it this year, but I also have some other ones from last year.  I will send them in the 4th email.  There were some young ladies doing some sort of presentation about the castle and Lithuanian history, but I'm sorry to say I missed that presentation.  They wore 16th century style costumes. 

Lastly, there was the food!  There was all sorts of food to be eaten; Kugelis, rugstus piena; sausage with bread, potato and sauerkraut; saltibarsciai; chicken with carrots, peas and rice; gira to drink, and pastry and ice cream for dessert.  There were also "hot dogs" for the American taste.  It was all very delicious! 

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One of my favorite attractions is a hand built, stone castle you can visit that is on the grounds. It's known as Father Yla's castle. It's built in the spirit of castles that exist in Lithuania, and dedicated to Mindaugas. I'm proud to say that my father was one of many people who helped to build it, I believe in the 1950s. 

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Category : Lithuania in the world

- Posted by - (0) Comment

 

Your participation in
international Lithuanian
affairs is very much needed!

Dear friends,

The World Lithuanian Community (WLC) is suffering from what is commonly known as an "ageing population" even if there in recent times has been some amazing enthusiasm from "second, third and fourth generation Lithuanians”, not least here in VilNews. An input of new members and enthusiasts is, however, vital to ensure the long-term continuity of this important Lithuanian tradition and movement around the world. WLC needs YOU!

I have agreed with Regina Nariusiene, the WLC President, that she will be quick to answer everyone who writes her with questions, expressing any sort of readiness to participate in the works of international Lithuania.

So please do not wait, write her an email as soon as you can. Her email address is rbnar213@gmail.com

Category : Opinions

- Posted by - (0) Comment



Rimas Pileika Aage, is WLC an actual organization? If so, what is their web address? I'm not sure what she (they) do and what I would be emailing her about??


Irene Simanavicius I was just reading VilNEWS when I saw my name pop upt. I am very interested in finding out more info. I am very behind in my reading and will catch up today as i am home this morning. Thank you Aage Myhre for including me. I will be meeting with some other of my friends tomorrow and run it past them as well. :)


Aage Myhre ‎Rimas, Please have a look at today's front page of VilNews...

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Rimas Pileika Anyone aware of a link to this organization?? Aciu

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Aage Myhre Front page of VilNews

:) http://plbe.org/

PLBE | PASAULIO LIETUVIŲ BENDRUOMENĖ (PLB)
plbe.org
PASAULIO LIETUVIŲ BENDRUOMENĖ (PLB)


Michaela Maestas Thank you Brother ! Love my community in all its forms ! Yeah !

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Irene Simanavicius I have just emailed Regina. :)


Carol Luschas Thanks for posting Aage! I will send her an e-mail.

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Rimas Pileika Unfortunately, although I plan on partially retiring in LT one day, my knowledge of the language is probably not strong enough to carry the ball here. Yes, how does this group become relevant to the younger people who have chosen to leave LT vs those who were forced to run??


Warren Thompson Thank you for this Aage - I will most certainly consult her. I am a third generation Lithuanian. There are I believe many challenges to those like me who would like to see their future in Lithuania but are met with many obstacles. A friend once remarked to me "Lithuania is a country that people leave, not go to". Time for a turnaround. Valio Lietuvai!

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Aage Myhre ‎Rimas, I think there are many like you out there... Please write directly to Regina - in English or Lithuanian... Ask her exactly this question...

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Aage Myhre ‎Warren, I believe this is exactly the kind of attitude Regina is looking for!!!


Gail VanWart I just sent an e-mail.

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Rimas Pileika I'm a little confused by this. This is a very open and (mostly) confirming forum for all participants. Why doesn't Regina come on here and tell us what she is looking for, etc? Better than dealing with individual emails that we will never get to see....I think, no???

http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/41771_1184570781_1674_q.jpg
Rimas Pileika OK, guess I'm scratching my head on this one. Seems like it would be easier to discuss general topics on this type of forum then to try and respond to 000's of emails. But those who write, keep us posted.


Ray Janus Posting this on https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lithuanians-Of-Arizona/270499819659130 
...hopefully we can get some input from Lithuanians here..

Lithuanians Of Arizona
More than national pride, being Lithuanian is a state of mind.


Irena Dzikija Regina is great :)


Odetė Abromavičiūtė Dear Regina, please come on Facebook!

Category : Opinions

- Posted by - (0) Comment

 

They have never finished worse than fourth in the Olympics, with three medals, since professionals joined the games in 1992

The Men’s Basketball at the 2012 London Olympics tips off on Sunday, July 29, as 144 players on 12 teams from around the globe begin their quest for gold, ending with the Finals on Sunday, August 12.

Men’s Basketball was first introduced at the 1936 Games in Berlin and things were forever changed in Barcelona, when professional players were permitted to compete in the 1992 Olympics.

The 12 teams are broken up into two groups, with the top four teams in each group advancing to the quarterfinals, as the tournament shifts from the preliminary round to the knockout stage.

Group A :
· Argentina,
· France,
· Lithuania,
· Nigeria,
· Tunisia,
· United States

Read more...

Category : News

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New concept for seniors, planned in Vilnius

A new concept for senior apartments, with focus on warmth, dignity and joy. Custom apartments around an outdoor, enclosed patio - plus a large, common 'lobby' for food, reading, music, good talks, therapy, training and more.

This is what now might be develop in the outskirts of Vilnius, about 20 minutes drive from the Old Town and less than five minutes from the Le Meridien Hotel, with its beautiful pool, spa complex, and a great new 18-hole golf course.

The plan they have under consideration right now is to build an elegant senior complex on the site, for potential buyers both in this country and from abroad.

Quality and service will be very high, still at prices one can hardly dream of the United States, Western Europe or Australia.

The planned complex will consist of around 50 apartments and a large public centre-building that can best be compared with an international hotel lobby.

All apartments and common areas will be wheelchair accessible. The latest of 'welfare technology' will be installed, and there will be an extensive range of health care measures, safety, activities and a good, warm relationship with other seniors in similar circumstances.

If sufficient interest from potential buyers, the project is expected completed in 2014.


When will this project be completed?
When will this project be completed? What provisions will there be for handicapped, when we grow older and unable to participate in sports or other activities?
Vytas
_________________________

Sounds like a great project
It sounds like a great project hope to hear more about it.
Irene
_________________________

I think something like that could be very welcome
Actually, I think that something like that could be very welcome. What it will need is an inexpensive and convenient form of transportation to and from Vilnius center and old town. So, I hope that the organizers will think about that. Today, it is quite expensive to get to Le Meridien Hotel and the hotel shuttle bus only goes as far as the White Bridge for some strange reason. Public bus is just to going to be acceptable for residents. A taxi ride costs over 100 lita round trip today and that will be much higher by the time this opens.

Without a convenient, affordable form of transport, residents will feel very isolated out there. With that problem solved, I could see a good interest in it.
Gene
_________________________

Many "seniors" prefer to not be alone. They are still active "seniors," and a place like this offers safety, security, a sense of community
Many "seniors" prefer to not be alone. They are still active "seniors," and a place like this offers safety, security, a sense of community, and if I were anywhere near retirement age, I would surely consider such a residence!!! Great Idea!!! :)
Jenifer
 
Category : Opinions

- Posted by - (0) Comment

New concept for seniors, planned in Vilnius

A new concept for senior apartments, with focus on warmth, dignity and joy. Custom apartments around an outdoor, enclosed patio - plus a large, common 'lobby' for food, reading, music, good talks, therapy, training and more.

This is what now might be develop in the outskirts of Vilnius, about 20 minutes drive from the Old Town and less than five minutes from the Le Meridien Hotel, with its beautiful pool, spa complex, and a great new 18-hole golf course.

The plan they have under consideration right now is to build an elegant senior complex on the site, for potential buyers both in this country and from abroad.

Quality and service will be very high, still at prices one can hardly dream of the United States, Western Europe or Australia.

The planned complex will consist of around 50 apartments and a large public centre-building that can best be compared with an international hotel lobby.

All apartments and common areas will be wheelchair accessible. The latest of 'welfare technology' will be installed, and there will be an extensive range of health care measures, safety, activities and a good, warm relationship with other seniors in similar circumstances.

If sufficient interest from potential buyers, the project is expected completed in 2014.

When will this project be completed?
When will this project be completed? What provisions will there be for handicapped, when we grow older and unable to participate in sports or other activities?
Vytas
_________________________

Sounds like a great project
It sounds like a great project hope to hear more about it.
Irene
_________________________

I think something like that could be very welcome
Actually, I think that something like that could be very welcome. What it will need is an inexpensive and convenient form of transportation to and from Vilnius center and old town. So, I hope that the organizers will think about that. Today, it is quite expensive to get to Le Meridien Hotel and the hotel shuttle bus only goes as far as the White Bridge for some strange reason. Public bus is just to going to be acceptable for residents. A taxi ride costs over 100 lita round trip today and that will be much higher by the time this opens.

Without a convenient, affordable form of transport, residents will feel very isolated out there. With that problem solved, I could see a good interest in it.
Gene
_________________________

Many "seniors" prefer to not be alone. They are still active "seniors," and a place like this offers safety, security, a sense of community
Many "seniors" prefer to not be alone. They are still active "seniors," and a place like this offers safety, security, a sense of community, and if I were anywhere near retirement age, I would surely consider such a residence!!! Great Idea!!! :)
Jenifer 
Category : Speakers corner!

- Posted by - (0) Comment


http://plbe.org/

The Lithuanian World Community (Lithuanian: Pasaulio lietuvių bendruomenė or PLB) is a non-governmental and non-profit organization established in 1949 that unifies Lithuanian communities abroad. The Constitution of the Lithuanian World Community declares that it consists of all Lithuanians living abroad. The Community is active in 36 countries, including representation in Lithuania.

On February 7, 1932 a fund to support Lithuanians in foreign countries was established in Lithuania, making one of the first attempts to maintain closer ties between the Lithuanian diaspora and Lithuania. Three years later the first Lithuanian World Congress was held in Kaunas, which established the Lithuanian World Union. The mission of the Lithuanian World Union, also drafted during the Congress, called for a cultural and economic union of Lithuanians in different countries. However World War II and Lithuania's occupation interrupted the work. Many educated Lithuanians fled to western countries, hoping to avoid approaching Soviet repressions. In 1946 the Lithuanian community in Germany established the Lithuanian Deportees Community, which aimed at consolidating and helping Lithuanians in Germany. In 1949 Lithuania's Supreme Liberation Committee (Lithuanian: Vyriausiasis Lietuvos išlaisvinimo komitetas or VLIKas), established in 1943, delivered the Lithuanian Charter and the Constitutions of the Lithuanian World Community, which solemnly pledged to support and unite all Lithuanians outside Lithuania's borders and promote Lithuanian culture and language abroad. The Lithuanian Charter also proclaimed:

·         a nation is a natural community of people;
·         a human has birthright to freely profess and promote his nationality;
·         a Lithuanian remains a Lithuanian everywhere and always;
·         his parents maintained the Lithuanian national consciousness; a Lithuanian relays it to the generations yet unborn, to remain alive;
·         a language is the strongest tie to the national community;
·         the Lithuanian language is the most precious national honour for a Lithuanian national solidarity is the highest national virtue.

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...
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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...
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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
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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.
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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...
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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.

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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...
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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.

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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...
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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...
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Click HERE to read previous opinion letters >



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