On August 21 in the manor house of Katthamragarden, in Katthammarsvik on the island of Gotland (Sweden), the 26th anniversary of the historic meeting which prompted signing the Act of March 11, 1990 was honored. This marks the 25th anniversary of the restoration of Lithuanian statehood.
Chairwoman of the Lithuanian Parliament Loreta Graužinienė and the Chairman of the Swedish Riksdag Urban Ahlin at the ceremony
© Lithuanian Embassy in Sweden

The ceremony was attended by the Chairwoman of the Lithuanian Parliament Loreta Graužinienė, the Chairman of the Swedish Riksdag Urban Ahlin, the Governor of Gotland Cecilia Schelin Seidegård, participants in the historical events on the island of Gotland, the founder of the Lithuanian Reform Movement, the Chairman of the Lithuanian Supreme Council-Restoration Parliament, signatory of the Lithuanian Independence Act, former MEP prof. Vytautas Landsbergis and signatory of the Lithuanian Independence Act, former MEP, diplomat Justas Vincas Paleckis. All participants were welcomed by the organizers of the event, the Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania Eitvydas Bajarūnas, the owner of the manor house of Katthamragarden Jakob Gustafsson and the Honorary Consul of Lithuania in Gotland Dalia Andersson.

The event was also attended by the sailors from Lithuania Lithuanian Embassy staff and representatives of the diplomatic and political community as well as society.

On August 6, 1989, representatives of Lithuania and the Lithuanian diaspora signed the Gotland Communiqué, which states “that the aim of all Lithuanians around the globe is the reestablishment of the independent state of Lithuania”. For the first time representatives of different political parties in Lithuania and the Lithuanian diaspora expressed their support for the restoration of an independent Lithuanian state. The Gotland Communiqué was signed by the Chairman of the Supreme Committee for the Liberation of Lithuania Kazys Bobelis, member of the Seimas Council of the Lithuanian Reform Movement “Sąjūdis” , Chairman of the Lithuanian Science History and Philosophy Association Antanas Buračas, member of the Seimas Council of the Lithuanian Reform Movement “Sąjūdis”, the Chairman of the Lithuanian Cultural Foundation Česlovas Kudaba, the Chairman of the Seimas Council of the Lithuanian Reform Movement “Sąjūdis” Vytautas Landsbergis, the Vice- President of the Lithuanian World Community Irena Lukoševičienė, member of the Seimas Council of the Lithuanian Reform Movement “Sąjūdis” ,the Vice President of the National Olympic Committee of Lithuania Kazimieras Motieka, Head of the Culture and Ideology Departments of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Lithuania Justas Paleckis, and the Chairman of the Lithuanian Freedom League Antanas Terleckas.

The 36th Lithuanian study week took place from the 6th to the 30th of August 1989 in Katthammarsvik on the island of Gotland, the result of which was the Gotland Communiqué. Numerous politicians and public figures from Lithuanian and the Lithuanian diaspora as well as actors of the Jaunimo (Youth) theatre and representatives of Lithuanian culture attended this Lithuanian study week. Many of them came from Lithuania by boat. The European Lithuanian study week was attended by over a hundred people, many of which came from Lithuania. Some notable organizers of this study week were Swedish Lithuanians such as the famous emigration and resistance Jonas Pajaujis, who lived on the island of Gotland at that time, the painter Eugenijus Budrys, Dr. Edvardas Varnauskas, Gintautas Būga and others.

According to the Chairwoman of the Lithuanian Parliament L.Graužinienė, t the Gotland Communiqué was of great significance “It confirmed to Europe and the whole world that our most important aim is an independent future for our nation. The Gotland Communiqué serves as a solid foundation for the Declaration of the Independence of Lithuania, which was signed on 11 March 1990 by the Lithuanian Parliament”.

Prof. Vytautas Landsbergis stated that the Gotland Communiqué had become a major event in the whole chain of events which took place in 1989 such as the collapse of Berlin Wall, the democratic elections in Poland and the entering independent party "Solidarity” as well as others into the government. Shortly after the Lithuanian study week in Gotland, which was attended for the first time by representatives of occupied Lithuania, the historical “Baltic Chain” event took place on August 23 1989 and which made it known to the world that the Baltic nations want to live freely and independently.

Justas Paleckis noted that this event - on the island of Gotland had roused strong interest among Swedish politicians, the press and public.
According to the participants, it is quite symbolic that the Lithuanian study week took place namely on Gotland – a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea, and one of the closest points of the free world to occupied Lithuanian at that time. Lithuania’s Ambassador to Sweden Eitvydas Bajarūnas, stated that the laying of the Gotland Communique plaque is unquestionably the inauguration of the commemorative plaque of the Gotland Communiqué is an important endeavor in strengthening friendly relations between Sweden and Lithuania based on cooperation and mutual understanding.

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