March 29, 2020

30th Anniversary of the Restoration of the Independent State of Lithuania

The Hague, 11 March 2020. The Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania H.E. Mr. Vidmanta Purlys organized a concert followed by a reception to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the restoration of independence of Lithuania. Here are Ambassador Purlys remarks.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

I would like to welcome you to the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the restoration of the independence of Lithuania.

On 11 March 1990, democratically elected Parliament of Lithuania, expressing the will of the nation, proclaimed that “the execution of the sovereign powers of the State of Lithuania abolished by foreign forces in 1940, is re-established, and henceforth Lithuania is again an independent state.” This was one of the most important events in the history of Lithuania of the XXth century, political act ending 50 years of Soviet occupation, which was never internationally recognized. 11 March may have also been an important encouragement for other nations in that part of Europe, which were striving for their freedom too.

Since 1990, Lithuania rapidly consolidated its statehood and position in international affairs, also taking inspiration from the state tradition going back centuries in history. We have developed democratic, modern, inclusive and resilient society, based on the rule of law and strong democratic institutions. Lithuania built strong and open economy, which shares its advanced solutions globally in such areas as laser technology, life sciences, energy, digital and cyber domains, and others.

Lithuania has also developed an extensive network of bilateral and multilateral relations, and worked consistently to uphold international rule of law, security and stability, human rights, individual freedoms, and gender equality.

H.E. Mr. Vidmanta Purlys, Ambassador of Lithuania.

In this context, I would like to mention that Lithuania developed excellent relationship with the Netherlands across many areas and on many levels. Our co-operation in the international affairs is close, based on shared values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

We work intensely for security of NATO. Dutch soldiers contribute to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence in Lithuania. This is highly appreciated by the Lithuanian society. We are also great partners in the European Union. Our bilateral relations are very vibrant, all important data pointing to a growing direction, including on trade, investment and tourism.

I take this opportunity to thank all our Dutch, international and Lithuanian friends who contributed to strengthening our bilateral ties. 

Mezzo-soprano Rita Novikaitė and pianist Šviesė Čepliauskaitė.

In conclusion, Lithuanian society is proud of what it has achieved in the last 30 years, and looks confident towards the future. We believe in our freedom. Let me now turn to introducing two famous performers of this special evening.

Rita Novikaitė

Mezzo-soprano Rita Novikaitė was born in Kaunas, Lithuania. She studied in Lithuania, Austria and Italy. Rita Novikaitė sang many roles in operas and performed frequently in various festivals in Lithuania, across Europe and beyond. Rita Novikaitė is a renowned teacher who worked in Austria and now holds position of associate professor at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas.

Šviesė Čepliauskaitė

Pianist Šviesė Čepliauskaitė studied in Lithuania and Poland. Šviesė Čepliauskaitė is an active performer with Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra and Kaunas Symphony Orchestra. The largest part of her repertoire is music from romantic period, with Chopin being one of her favourite composers. Therefore, pianist has a number of prestigious awards for performing his works, including the Golden Cross of Merit by the President of Poland in 2019.

Šviesė Čepliauskaitė is currently an associate professor at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania.

At would like to make one more important announcement with regard to the concert. There will be a special entry in the programme – world premiere of piece by one of the most famous Lithuanian composer Zita Bružaitė entitled “BeMoon”. That is an amazing gift to the celebration in The Hague.

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