Lietuva in brief - 2006-07-26

  • 2006-07-26
President Valdas Adamkus vetoed a code of conduct for politicians, returning it to Parliament for repeated consideration. The president stated that the main objectives of the passed law are to implement the Constitution principle of government institutions' service to people, develop democratic governance and promote the responsibility of state politicians and candidates for state positions for their activities and their accountability to the public. In the president's opinion, seeking to fulfill these goals, it is expedient to envisage respective leverage enabling members of the society to participate in the process of monitoring state politicians' activities and conduct.

Adamkus urged Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas to ensure that all Lithuanians enjoy good conditions for studying in the official language. In a letter to the new head of government, Adamkus pointed out a recent conflict in the eastern section of the country over opportunities to receive a proper education in Lithuanian. The president notes that conclusions drawn and announced by state institutions raise serious doubts as to whether equal study opportunities are really ensured for this region. Public disputes and complaints received by the president's office show that some school communities feel discriminated against. "I think that the time has come to consider ways to ensure more transparent and public management and funding of education in this special region at a state level. It is important that in the future the society receives clear information about the principles based on which decisions on the founders of schools, their reorganization, funding, renovation, appointment of heads are made," Adamkus said.

Vilnius police stopped a British diplomat who was driving while intoxicated Sunday afternoon. According to the Lietuvos Rytas daily, other drivers informed the police about a car with diplomatic license plates causing dangerous situations on Antakalnis Street. The intoxicated driver had to leave his car on the roadside, where it was later taken by British Embassy employees.

A young woman willing to have an operation to change her sex lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights against Lithuania and has been invited to state her demands to the government during an open court meeting in Strasbourg. She will also have to substantiate her 1 million litas (290,000 euros) suit against the country. The Strasbourg court received the complaint from the woman, who feels that she should have been the opposite sex, a year ago. In her complaint, the Lithuanian citizen said that she had consulted micro-surgeons over an operation to change her sex on a number of occasions and had often been sent to psychiatrists. Vilnius Psychiatric Hospital doctors have said that she is a transsexual and should undergo such an operation. This is just the second case in Lithuania's practice when the Justice Ministry, which represents the government at the European Court of Human Rights, will have to express its position orally.