In response to uproar over the controversial Muslim cartoons, Archbisop Andres Poder of the Evangelical Lutheran Church said believers' feelings should not be insulted. "It is with concern that we have been observing the opposition created as a result of a cartoon published in the European press, which insults the religious feelings of Muslims," Poder told the Baltic News Service. "We maintain that it is impermissible to insult believers' convictions and feelings under the pretext of freedom of expression." The archbishop added that, in attacks against something that is holy for one religion, all religions will suffer. "As far as I know, there have been no conflicts with Islamic believers in Estonia," he said. "As a church, we want to do our best to preserve peaceful relations between people."
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said civilians' political understanding had significantly improved in Belarus, but more attention needed to be paid to Belarusian non-government organizations. "If the situation in Belarus was touched upon only briefly last year, then today the issue is constantly on our agenda," Paet told Jan Czurylowicz, representative of the joint Belarusian opposition candidate Alaksandr Milinkievits in Tallinn. "Unification of the Belarusian opposition forces certainly plays a role in this." The Foreign Ministry reported Paet as saying that a double approach should be taken in regards to Belarus.
Ants Ilus, the last living veteran of the War of Indep-endence (1918-1920), died in Tallinn on Feb. 10 at age 104. Ilus was born in the southern Viljandi County on Sept. 20, 1901. He was awarded the Order of the Cross of the Eagle with Swords, 3rd Class, and the White Star Medal, 2nd Class. The funeral service was held at Kaarli Church in Tallinn on Feb. 8. He was buried in Tallinn's Metsakalmistu cemetery.
The majority of those interviewed in a recent BNS/Faktum poll found that the central bank should have immediately informed both the public and police about counterfeit banknotes. Three out of four respondents said the news should have been publicized immediately. Six percent of those interviewed said informing the police would have sufficed, and did not think the public should have been immediately notified. Eighty-two percent thought the central bank should compensate those accused of carrying faulty banknotes, and nearly one in two said they should sue the Bank of Estonia. The poll, carried out Feb. 2-4, was based on interviews with 401 residents.