Lietuva in brief - 2004-02-19

  • 2004-02-19
Lithuania marked the 86th anniversary of the country's declaration of independence on Feb. 16. In addition to official ceremonies held in Kaunas and Vilnius, a massive evening concert took place in the capital's Cathedral Square.

The special parliamentary panel examining accusations against President Rolandas Paksas pushed back the deadline for its final report from Feb. 13 to Feb. 19. The commission asked for more time in order to examine last-minute material it received from the president's office.

Amid bitter controversy, the Lithuanian Eurovision commission selected the musical duo of Linas Adomaitis and Simona Jakubenaite to represent the country at the international competition in Turkey this May. The rock band Amberlife received three times as many SMS votes as Adomaitis and Jakubenaite during the national competition.

Sergei Madalov, chief of the riot control division in the Interior Ministry, admitted to state television that his unit had received direct assistance from Yuri Borisov, Paksas' principal campaign sponsor who was stripped of his Lithuanian citizenship in December. According to Madalov, Borisov offered use of a helicopter for the unit's training exercises.

Vytautas Kubilius, one of Lithuania's most famous literary critics and father of Homeland Union MP Andrius Kubilius, died after being struck by a car at a pedestrian crossing in Vilnius on Feb. 17. Kubilius, who was born in 1928, wrote over a dozen works of literary criticism and monographs.