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Lithuania celebrates 29 years of restored independence

VILNIUS - Lithuania celebrates on Monday the 29th anniversary of restoration of independence. 

The Seimas will hold a solemn sitting to mark the historic separation from the Soviet Union and marches, free excursions and concerts will take place across the country. 

The flags of the three Baltic states will be hoisted in a ceremony in Independence Square in front of the parliament building in Vilnius at noon.

The ceremony will be followed by a parade during which a 400-meter-long Lithuanian tricolor will be carried from Independence Square along Gedimino Avenue up to Cathedral Square.

Lithuania's second-largest city of Kaunas will hold a traditional solemn ceremony at the garden of the Vytautas the Great War Museum. 

Klaipeda will mark the Day of Re-establishment of Lithuania’s Independence with a festive event in Atgimimo Square.  

"This is a holiday where we always hear the singing revolution inspired by the hope of rebirth. It is a day when we feel proud of our nation and of Lithuania," President Dalia Grybauskaite said. 

"Won almost three decades ago, this victory reminds us every time that we can achieve the highest goals by mobilizing our determination and common will," she said.

Tautininkai (nationalists) plan to hold their traditional march in Vilnius in the afternoon. The march has in the past drawn criticism for being excessively nationalist.  

The Supreme Council of Lithuania on March 11, 1990 adopted the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania in a vote of 124 with six abstentions.


Lithuanian PM vows setting up panel to improve prevention of violence against women

VILNIUS – Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has pledged to set up a special working group to draft an action plan to improve prevention of violence against women.

The government said in a statement on Thursday that it was concluded during the prime minister's recent meeting with representatives of women's organizations that a lack of programs for the prevention of violence against women remains a serious problem.

The meeting also touched upon the issues of female poverty in the old age, the gap between men and women's wages and more flexible working conditions for women raising children.

The prime minister believes it's important to reduce the pay gap, implement the policy of equal opportunities in the business sector and have and apply anti-discriminatory measures for the same work to be paid equally.

"The Labor Inspectorate is carrying out such inspections and is consulting business but we need to raise awareness of this problem and educate the society about these problems," the government statement reads.

Niagara Falls to light up in Lithuanian colors on February 16

VILNIUS - The Niagara Falls in North America will light up yellow, green and red on February 16 to mark the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Lithuanian Partisans' Declaration. 

The Niagara Falls, one of Canada's top tourist destinations, will be illuminated in the Lithuanian national colors between 10 and 10:15 p.m. local time (5 a.m. Vilnius time).  

The event is being organized by Lithuania's embassy to Canada together with the Niagara Falls Illumination Board. 

On February 16, 1949, partisan commanders from all over Lithuania adopted a political declaration proclaiming Lithuania as a democratic republic and the Lithuanian nation as sovereign power.

In 1999, the Seimas recognized the declaration as an official act of the Lithuanian state.

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