VilNews

THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

11 December 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 February, 2013

- Posted by - (1) Comment

SAINT CASIMIR
1458 – 1484


The young prince, Casimir
died at the age of 25 on the 4th of March 1484.

St. Casimir, Lithuania's only Saint, is celebrated on the 4th of March (his death day). This celebration is the origin of the nation's annual Kaziukas Fair.

After his death, St. Casimir was so cherished by Lithuanians that stories of his life and miracles quickly went beyond the church walls and spread through the population and became tales and legends, hence no wonder that he has been so much remembered and celebrated, since the 17th Century primarily through the Kaziukas Fair.  

St. Casimir was a true Lithuanian by birth, descending from the famous and respected Gediminaitis clan. The Lithuanian grand dukes Kestutis, Algirdas, Vytautas the Great and others belonged to this family. St. Casimir's father was Kazimieras Jogailaitis who ruled Lithuania (later along with Poland) from 1447.

Kazimieras Jogailaitis married the daughter of Emperor Albrecht II, descended from the Habsburg family. They had six sons and six daughters. Casimir was the second son, born in 1458. He was renowned for a life of great piety, good works and virtue. Upon contracting tuberculosis, he died at the age of 25 on the 4th of March 1484 in the city of Gardinas. He was buried in Vilnius.

Shortly after his death, people started coming in large numbers to visit the holy prince's tomb and pray for intercession with God. His body was associated with numerous miracles and blessings from God. The process to canonize (declare a saint) St. Casimir was begun soon after his death, but for various reasons was delayed until 7 November 1602 when Pope Clement VIII officially proclaimed St. Casimir's feast on the church calendar. It was believed that Casimir had been canonized by Pope Leo X (before 1521) and that Clement VIII merely officially confirmed the fact.

People appealed to their saint at times of various misfortunes. His first miracle is considered to have been his apparition in 1518 at the Dauguva River during the war with Moscow. A large Russian army had assembled and threatened the city of Polotsk. A rather small force of Lithuanians stood to defend the city and fortress. The Lithuanians had to cross the swollen Dauguva River. Unable to find other help, they prayed to the saintly prince to intercede. St. Casimir is said to have appeared to the Lithuanians astride a white horse, wearing a white cloak. He urged the army to fight and rode first into the roaring river. The Lithuanians followed his example, fought fiercely and defeated Moscow's troops. The news of the prince's miraculous apparition and the victory spread throughout the country. The miracle was investigated by bishops of that time and confirmed as authentic. The very fact that St. Casimir came to help in a battle against Lithuania's eternal enemy Moscow elevated him even higher in the eyes of the Lithuanians. The saint became a symbol of the fight against the Russians and Russian Orthodoxy.

Such veneration, so closely linked to anti-Russian feelings, did not go unnoticed by Russia which often occupied Vilnius. Whenever the Russians approached the city, St. Casimir's relics were hidden and taken outside the city; after the danger had passed they were again returned to the church. The Russians made every effort to prevent St. Casimir's veneration; they banned his feast, but were unable to squash the people's enthusiasm. Thousands gathered annually on the 4th of March to pray at the tomb of their beloved saint.

The first church named after St. Casimir was built in Lithuania in the middle or the end of the 16th century near the town Ukmerge. It was built by the Jesuits. At approximately the same time, a church in the saint's honour was built in Vilnius. In Lithuania there are some twelve churches named for St. Casimir.


St. Casimir's Church in the centre of Vilnius is the oldest
Baroque church in Vilnius.

Category : Lithuania today

- Posted by - (0) Comment

SAINT CASIMIR
1458 – 1484


The young prince, Casimir
died at the age of 25 on the 4th of March 1484.

St. Casimir, Lithuania's only Saint, is celebrated on the 4th of March (his death day). This celebration is the origin of the nation's annual Kaziukas Fair.

After his death, St. Casimir was so cherished by Lithuanians that stories of his life and miracles quickly went beyond the church walls and spread through the population and became tales and legends, hence no wonder that he has been so much remembered and celebrated, since the 17th Century primarily through the Kaziukas Fair.

St. Casimir was a true Lithuanian by birth, descending from the famous and respected Gediminaitis clan. The Lithuanian grand dukes Kestutis, Algirdas, Vytautas the Great and others belonged to this family. St. Casimir's father was Kazimieras Jogailaitis who ruled Lithuania (later along with Poland) from 1447.

Read more...

Category : Front page

- Posted by - (0) Comment


“Zuokas Airline”
to take off in June


Air Lituanica, the brain child of Vilnius' mayor Arturas Zuokas whose idea is to launch a new national air carrier is taxiing for take-off, writes news2biz LITHUANIA in its latest report.
In June the airline should complete lease of its two mid-range aircraft (reportedly, Embraer 175). Eventually, the airline plans to have five 70-80-seat aircraft in 2015.
At least in the beginning, the would-be airline will truly be a national one, paid for by tax-payer money in the form of Vilnius municipality owning 83%.

Read more…
Category : News

The Lithuanian people’s faces, their marketed goods and wares are so interesting to me

- Posted by - (0) Comment

This was a nice video you shared with us. It was like I took a mini trip from the comfort of my home. The Lituanian people's faces, their marketed goods and wares are so interesting to me. I can't make a trip to Lituania yet, but you never know in the future what may happen.

Carol Day

Category : Opinions

- Posted by - (0) Comment

Jonas Basanavičius
The patriarch of
Lithuania


Jonas Basanavičius (23 November 1851 – 16 February 1927) was an activist and proponent of Lithuania's National Revival and founder of the first Lithuanian language newspaper Aušra. He was a signatory of the Act of Independence of Lithuania on 16 February 1918 Basanavičius is often given the unique informal honorific title of the "Patriarch of the Nation" for his contributions and help in re-establishing the Lithuanian state.

“A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle; and patriotism is loyalty to that principle.”
- George William Curtis

It is 16 February 2013. It is today exactly 95 years since a group of brave men wrote the Lithuanian declaration of independence after the country had been under Tsarist Russia's iron heel through more than 100 years. These men represented a generation that certainly felt an overwhelming sense of pride at the dawn of renewed independence. The Act of February 16 was signed by all 20 representatives of the Council of Lithuania, proclaiming the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania, governed by democratic principles. The meeting and signing procedures were chaired by Jonas Basanavičius, the man often given the unique informal honorific title of the "Patriarch of the Nation" for his contributions and help in re-establishing the Lithuanian state.

What these men presented from the balcony of a house in Pilies street here in Vilnius Old Town was not much more than a piece of paper. But it was a paper that symbolized a nation willing to throw off the yoke.
A nation that had won back its self respect and dignity in spite of the injustice and oppression that had been going on since the Russian occupation started in 1795.

We salute these men for their courage and foresight. We salute them because they, in faith, hope and dignity clearly showed that Lithuania wanted to live up to its proud history as a nation of greatness.

Great nations are founded on self-belief!

Read more...

Category : Front page

- Posted by - (1) Comment

Jonas Basanavičius
The patriarch of Lithuania

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/Jonas_Basanavicius_(1851-1927).jpg
Jonas Basanavičius (23 November 1851 – 16 February 1927) was an activist and proponent of Lithuania's National Revival and founder of the first Lithuanian language newspaper Aušra. He was a signatory of the Act of Independence of Lithuania on 16 February 1918 Basanavičius is often given the unique informal honorific title of the "Patriarch of the Nation" for his contributions and help in re-establishing the Lithuanian state. 

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

“A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle; and patriotism is loyalty to that principle.”
- George William Curtis

It is 16 February 2013. It is today exactly 95 years since a group of brave men wrote the Lithuanian declaration of independence after the country had been under Tsarist Russia's iron heel through more than 100 years. These men represented a generation that certainly felt an overwhelming sense of pride at the dawn of renewed independence. The Act of February 16 was signed by all 20 representatives of the Council of Lithuania, proclaiming the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania, governed by democratic principles. The meeting and signing procedures were chaired by Jonas Basanavičius, the man often given the unique informal honorific title of the "Patriarch of the Nation" for his contributions and help in re-establishing the Lithuanian state.

What these men presented from the balcony of a house in Pilies street here in Vilnius Old Town was not much more than a piece of paper. But it was a paper that symbolized a nation willing to throw off the yoke. 
A nation that had won back its self respect and dignity in spite of the injustice and oppression that had been going on since the Russian occupation started in 1795.

We salute these men for their courage and foresight. We salute them because they, in faith, hope and dignity clearly showed that Lithuania wanted to live up to its proud history as a nation of greatness.

Great nations are founded on self-belief!

As we now know, the newfound freedom was not going to last much more than 20 years. But they were 20 important years in which Lithuanians showed the world and themselves that the citizens and the country's leaders had the ability to collaborate an utterly successful reconstruction of the nation. Pride, dignity and courage came to characterize the inter-war years of this country.

The years 1988-1991 were also characterized by dignity and confidence. The quiet revolution that defined the Lithuanian and the other Baltic States' revolt against Soviet rule was almost like a textbook on how a nation's inner strength can lead to freedom originating from within, from its own citizens.

 

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b8/Jonas_basanavicius.jpg
Jonas Basanavičius
23 November 1851- 16 February 1927

From Wikipedia

Jonas Basanavičius was an activist and proponent of Lithuania's National Revival and founder of the first Lithuanian language newspaper Aušra. He was one of the initiators and the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the 1905 Congress of Lithuanians, the Great Seimas of Vilnius. He was also the founder and chairman of the Lithuanian Scientific Society (1907).

As a member of the Council of Lithuania, he was a signatory of the Act of Independence of Lithuania on February 16, 1918. Basanavičius is often given the unique informal honorific title of the "Patriarch of the Nation" (Lithuanian: tautos patriarchas) for his contributions and help in re-establishing the Lithuanian state.

Basanavičius was born in the village of Ožkabaliai (Polish: Oszkobole) in Congress Poland, client state of the Russian Empire, to a family of Lithuanian farmers. Birth complications prompted his parents, devout Catholics, to pray and promise that they would educate their firstborn to be a priest. Keeping up with the promise, the parents supported a village tutor for local children. There Basanavičius learned basic reading, writing, and arithmetic as well as serving the altar. He further attended an elementary school in Lukšiai. During that time Polish was regarded as the more prestigious language of the nobility and well educated people. Russian was used in state administration, while Lithuanian was used among the peasants. After the Uprising of 1863, Tsarist authorities implemented various Russification policies in an attempt to reduce the influence of Polish language and culture. One of such policies allowed Basanavičius to attend Marijampolė Gymnasium. Before the uprising, a son of a Lithuanian could hardly expect to be admitted to a school catering to Polish nobility. Basanavičius failed his first entrance examinations in 1865, but succeeded a year later.

Basanavičius developed appreciation for Lithuanian language, culture, and history from local hill forts and his parents, who provided a loving treasure of local songs, legends, stories. This appreciation grew and deepened at the gymnasium were Basanavičius got acquainted with classical authors of Lithuanian history (Maciej Stryjkowski, Alexander Guagnini, Jan Długosz, Marcin Kromer), studied Lithuanian folk songs, read classical poems The Seasons by Kristijonas Donelaitis, Konrad Wallenrod by Adam Mickiewicz, Margier by Władysław Syrokomla and historical fiction by Józef Ignacy Kraszewski. He drifted away from religion after reading criticism of Life of Jesus by Ernest Renan. Upon graduation in 1873, he managed to persuade his parents to allow him to attend Moscow University and not the Sejny Priest Seminary.

Basanavičius traveled to Moscow first to study history and philology, but after two semesters he transferred to the Moscow Medical Academy. Again, he benefited from the post-uprising Russification policies. He received one of ten fellowships (360 rubles annually) established for Lithuanian students from Congress Poland. He also supplemented his income by taking up private tutoring, but the living conditions were harsh and that had a lasting impact on his health. Basanavičius actively participated in student affairs, followed developments in Lithuania, and continued his studies of Lithuanian heritage. Collecting data from Rumyantsev and university libraries, he hoped to write a study on Grand Duke Kęstutis. He usually spent his summers in Lithuania, collecting folk songs, fairytales, riddles.

Medical career in Bulgaria

File:50 Litu.JPG
Jonas Basanavičius on 50 litas banknote 

After graduation in spring 1879, Basanavičius made a trip back to Lithuania and had a few patients in Ožkabaliai, Vilkaviškis and Aleksotas. He returned to Moscow in October 1879 hoping to establish his private practice, but soon he accepted lucrative proposal from the Principality of Bulgaria to become the head of a hospital in Lom Palanka, a town of about 8,000 inhabitants. After arrival in late January 1880, he found a run-down hospital located in a former hotel and energetically took measures to construct a new building, establish outpatient service, and combat perception that the hospital was a place to die rather than to get well. In 1880, the hospital had 522 inpatients and 1144 outpatients compared to just 19 patients during 1879. The position paid well, expenses were low, so he was able to quickly repay debts and accumulate savings. Basanavičius also wrote medical research articles, liberal political articles supporting Petko Karavelov, and cultural articles for Prussian Lithuanian, including Tilžės Keleivis, Lietuwißka Ceitunga, Mitteilungen Der Litauischen Literarischen Gesellschaft.

After assassination of Tsar Alexander II of Russia in March 1881, Bulgarian Prince Alexander of Battenberg attempted to crack down on liberal politicians. Afraid of persecution Basanavičius left Bulgaria in May 1882. He traveled for several months, visiting Belgrade, Vienna, Lithuania, before settling down in Prague in December 1882. There he organized publication of Aušra, the first Lithuanian-language newspaper. First issue appeared in March 1883 and marked a major milestone in the Lithuanian National Revival. Basanavičius directed the editorial policies, while Jurgis Mikšas handled printing in Ragnit in East Prussia. The newspaper then would be smuggled to Lithuania as publication in Lithuanian language was illegal in the Russian Empire. Basanavičius soon lost editorial control of Aušra to Jonas Šliūpas.

In Prague Basanavičius met Gabriela Eleonora Mohl, a Bohemian German, and they married in May 1884. immediately after the wedding the couple moved to Bulgaria, where political situation had improved. Basanavičius first found a position in Elena, but managed to return to Lom Palanka in 1885. Life there was marked by a series of hardships. The Serbo-Bulgarian War brought a wave of war casualties to the hospital and a typhus epidemic. Basanavičius became seriously ill with pneumonia and typhus in February 1886. In August 1887, he survived an assassination attempt, but one bullet remained logged under his left shoulder blade for the rest of his life and caused various health issues. His attacker, Alexander Manoilov, served a ten-year sentence but never fully explained his reasoning. In February 1889, Mohl died of tuberculosis that she apparently contracted while still in Prague. The death of his wife sent Basanavičius into depression and melancholy for almost a year.

In 1891 Basanavičius acquired Bulgarian citizenship and was promoted to Varna in 1892, but his health problems intensified. He suffered from arrhythmia, neurasthenia, neuralgia, paraesthesia. That prompted him to resign from public position in 1893 and limit his work to his private practice and palace visits to Ferdinand I of Bulgaria. Basanavičius traveled to Austria several times searching for cures to his ailments. In 1900 he suffered a stroke.

In Varna, he joined the Democratic Party and was elected to the Varna City Council from 1899 to 1903. He also participated in the party congresses and helped develop party program in health care.

Return to Lithuania

In 1905, upon hearing that the Lithuanian press ban was lifted Basanavičius returned to Lithuania, and continued to play an important role in the Lithuanian national revival.

He was the main force behind Great Seimas of Vilnius, that culminated with the Act of Independence of Lithuania in 1918.

Dr. Basanavičius explored Lithuanian history, culture, folklore, ethnography and linguistics, writing more than forty works in these fields.

He died in Vilnius on February 16, 1927, Lithuanian Independence Day, and was buried in Rasos Cemetery.

image014 

16 February

Lithuania’s Independence Day

16 February 1918 was the date Lithuania declared its independence from

Imperial Russia and established its statehood

File:Signatarai.Signatories of Lithuania.jpg
The Act of Independence of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Nepriklausomybės Aktas)
or Act of February 16 was signed by the Council of Lithuania on February 16, 1918,
proclaiming the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania.  

From left to right
Sitting: J. Vileišis, dr. J. Šaulys, kun. J. Staugaitis, St. Narutavičius, dr. J. Basanavičius,
A. Smetona, kan. K. Šaulys, Stp. Kairys, J. Smilgevičius.

 Standing: K. Bizauskas, J. Vailokaitis, Donatas Malinauskas, kun. Vl. Mironas, M. Biržiška,
kun. A. Petrulis, S. Banaitis, P. Klimas, A. Stulginskis, J. Šernas, Pr. Dovydaitis.

The Act of Independence of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Nepriklausomybės Aktas) or Act of February 16 was signed by the Council of Lithuania on February 16, 1918, proclaiming the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania, governed by democratic principles, with Vilnius as its capital. The Act was signed by all twenty representatives, chaired by Jonas Basanavičius. The Act of February 16 was the end result of a series of resolutions on the issue, including one issued by the Vilnius Conference and the Act of January 8. The path to the Act was long and complex because the German Empire exerted pressure on the Council to form an alliance. The Council had to carefully maneuver between the Germans, whose troops were present in Lithuania, and the demands of the Lithuanian people.

The immediate effects of the announcement of Lithuania's re-establishment of independence were limited. Publication of the Act was prohibited by the German authorities, and the text was distributed and printed illegally. The work of the Council was hindered, and Germans remained in control over Lithuania. The situation changed only when Germany lost World War I in the fall of 1918. In November 1918 the first Cabinet of Lithuania was formed, and the Council of Lithuania gained control over the territory of Lithuania. Independent Lithuania, although it would soon be battling the Wars of Independence, became a reality.

While the Act's original document has been lost, its legacy continues. The laconic Act is the legal basis for the existence of modern Lithuania, both during the interwar period and since 1990. The Act formulated the basic constitutional principles that were and still are followed by all Constitutions of Lithuania. The Act itself was a key element in the foundation of Lithuania's re-establishment of independence in 1990. Lithuania, breaking away from the Soviet Union, stressed that it was simply re-establishing the independent state that existed between the world wars and that the Act never lost its legal power.

Category : Historical Lithuania

- Posted by - (0) Comment


My Užupis love story (slide show with music). Click HERE to see it.

Užupis is the bohemian district of Vilnius city. The district is very popular with artists, and has been compared to Montmartre in Paris and to Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen, due to its never-mind atmosphere. On April 1, 1997, the district declared itself an independent republic (The Republic of Užupis).
__________________________

That would be where I would live. When I was there, I felt right at home
Irene Simanavicius Oh Lovely Uzupis..a stroll through Uzupis is nothing less than enjoyable. Curious nooks and crannies hide artwork or unexpected gardens. I wandered into shops selling artistic goods or the 100-year-old pharmacy that still supplies patrons with cough medicine and bandages. I sat by the café near the river to relax with a cup of coffee and a bulkute. When I crossed one of the bridges leading to or from Uzupis, you’ll see love locks clustered on the railings and if the weather is good, you may even catch a new bride and groom having their photos taken among the crumbling bricks and colorful graffiti so characteristic of the district. The most noticeable feature of the main square is the trumpet-blowing bronze angel sculpture on its column. This sculpture replaced the large stone egg that previously stood as a symbol for Uzupis in 2002 and has subsequently become a symbol associated with Uzupis. ~ That would be where I would live. When I was there, I felt right at home.
Category : Opinions

- Posted by - (0) Comment


Russian Ambassador:
Lithuania was incorporated into Soviet Union "rather peacefully"


Lithuania's incorporation into the Soviet Union happened rather peacefully, Russian Ambassador to Lithuania Vladimir Chkhikvadze said in Vilnius on Friday. The ambassador attended an event at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held to introduce the second volume of "The Soviet Union and Lithuania during World War II," a collection of historic documents compiled by Lithuanian and Russian historians.

"The published archival materials undeniably show that Soviet Lithuania existed. By the way, it is noted in the introductory article, with references to archival materials, that Lithuania's incorporation into the internal system of the Soviet Union happened rather peacefully," the Russian diplomat said.
"The documents, in my opinion, have great importance for the description and evaluation of a period of common history that is difficult for us all. To my mind, it's very important also because efforts have recently been made in historical literature to falsify the truth, to diminish the role of the Soviet Union in victory against Fascism," Chkhikvadze said.

Read more...

Category : News

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 گن لاغری شکم بند لاغری آگهی استخدام آگهی رایگان تبلیغات کلیکی آموزش زبان انگلیسی پاراگلایدر ساخت وبلاگ بوی بد دهان