Lithuania in the News
18th March 2018
|Lithuania Celebrates a Century since Independence Restoration|
A huge Lithuanian flag, larger than a
basketball court, hung from the TV Tower
in Vilnius for the Centenary celebrations.
Photo courtesy madeinvilnius.lt
, photo Telecentras
“100 Years” sign in front of the Presidential Palace in Vilnius.
Photo courtesy lrp.lt , photo Robertas Dačkus
For the actual February 16th anniversary, Lithuania was honoured by the presence of many international guests, presidents and crowned heads. Donald Tusk, President of the EU Council, declared that the closing words of Lithuania’s national anthem – “Let unity flower” - could be suitable for an EU anthem. Of interest to Australians, Australian-born Crown Princess Margaret of Denmark was due to attend the festivities, but the unexpected death of her father-in-law prevented her from coming. Greetings from very many countries were also received – from Pope Francis, US President Donald Trump, Queen Elizabeth II, Japanese Emperor Akihito, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Australia’s Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, NZ Prime Minster Jacinta Ardern among many others.
Lithuania’s Centenary was noted by international media. The British journal “The Economist”, introduced Lithuania’s centenary with the headline as “100 not out”, a term familiar to cricket enthusiasts. The article stated “Lithuania has a history of statehood stretching back to the Middle Ages. ..... It was the first Baltic state to assert its independence in 1918. ..... It also inspired Lithuania’s audacious declaration of independence in 1990, the first in the crumbling Soviet Union, which initially shocked its Baltic neighbours and unsettled some outsiders. ..... The long struggle has left Lithuanians with a singular sense of European purpose.”
Australian Lithuanians were honoured by a delegation from Lithuania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) for their celebrations. The delegation was led by Darius Skusevičius (Vice-Minister) and included Gediminas Varvuolis (Lithuania’s Ambassador-Designate to Australia), and MFA officials Marijus Gudynas, Asta Slavinskaitė and Diana Mickevičienė. The delegation met with Australian Lithuanians and Australian government and parliament officials and business leaders.
Celebrations in Sydney. Photo courtesy “Mūsų Pastogė”