Lietuva in brief - 2009-03-18

  • 2009-03-18
Lithuania has entered into diplomatic relations with Barbados, an island-state in the Lesser Antilles between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Permanent ambassadors to the UN appointed by Lithuania and Barbados, Dalius Cekuolis and Christopher Fitzherbert Hackett, signed a joint communique in New York as part of the diplomatic agreement. Barbados is the 153rd country to begin diplomatic ties with Lithuania.

 Lithuanians are ready for a woman president. About 81 percent of residents are in favor of a woman becoming the head of state, Delfi news portal reported on the results of Sprinter Tyrimai poll. Support for Dalia Grybauskaite, the candidate for president, has also increased from about 43 percent to more than 60 percent since announcing she intended to run for president. More than half of the other presidential hopefuls are unlikely to win at least one percent of votes in May's election, according to the poll carried out for the Veidas weekly magazine. Grybauskaites two closest competitors, Algirdas Butkevicius and Valentinas Mazuronis, would win only about five percent and three percent of votes, respectively, according to the polls.

Five teenagers held over a brutal attack in Drogheda, Ireland have been freed. The teenagers were arrested on suspicion of involvement in an attack on two couples near Drogheda, but have been released without charge. A file on the investigation is to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions. The five, who are all originally from Lithuania, were arrested and questioned in Drogheda and Dundalk police stations. Two couples were attacked by a gang of up to six youths at Townley Hall between Slane and Drogheda at around 4:30 a.m. on March 10. All four were beaten with crowbars and one woman was dragged into the forest and raped. The two couples were in the car park at Townley Hall when they were attacked. While receiving treatment in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, one of the victims recognized her attacker, who himself had presented for treatment. Police arrested him and three of his friends immediately. A fifth teenager was also later arrested.

Lithuania's political parties should unite in the face of the economic and social difficulties, says the leader of the ruling National Resurrection Party, Parliamentary Speaker Arunas Valinskas. In an interview with BNS, Valinskas said he was already holding talks with heads of opposition parties on joint activities. Asked whether he implied changes in the executive power, the National Resurrection Party leader said he only meant starting a dialogue. Valinskas' discussions with heads of the opposition parties coincided with the deadline for their decision on a no-confidence vote in the parliamentary speaker initiated by the Order and Justice Party, which criticized Valinskas for his poor performance in parliament. Valinskas admitted his coalition partners had not been informed about his initiative.