OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY | OPPOSITION TO CONVENTION CENTER PROJECT | INTERNATIONAL PETITION | HUMAN RIGHTS
VILNIUS—Lithuania’s parliament (the Seimas) has published the provisional state budget for 2021, along with a timetable specifying that the final date for protests, submissions, and comments from outside organizations (non-governmental and presumably including religious and human rights groups) is the 10th of November.
The budget links to the Ministry of Finance page where the project to erect the new national convention center (not mentioned: in the heart of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery), is explicitly cited in a list of other projects that do in fact enhance our nation’s economy:
Economic Infrastructure: Funds for infrastructure are directed to increase the potential of the country’s economy. In this direction of investment, it is proposed to focus on the improvement of communication with target countries, development of infrastructure important for attracting investments and the improvement of the infrastructure necessary for business within the country.
This includes measures such as the resumption of flights and the development of airports; free economic zone (FEZ) development; creation of a modern conference center (Vilnius Concert and Sports Hall); development of the seaport (including dredging of the shipping channel) and inland waterway infrastructure; development of railway infrastructure and Via Baltica dynamic traffic management system, implementation of intelligent drainage, etc.
In other words, the tragic plan to desecrate and humiliate the many thousands of Vilnius’s Jewish buried over m ore than half a millennium, which will bring untold harm to Lithuania’s image and standing, and economy, and be a source of bitter dispute for generations, is mixed in here with airports, free economic zones, and waterway and railway infrastructure. For the avoidance of doubt, “Vilnius Concert and Sports Hall” is cited to avoid any interpretation that the budget sum could go for a new conference center not on top of any of the city’s sacred cemeteries.
Last but not least is the outlay that the state seems to expect the impoverished Lithuanian taxpayer to shell out in 2021 for the “reconstruction” of the derelict Soviet monstrosity (the old Sports Palace) that lies in the center of the cemetery. It takes a little looking but if you go to the National Budget 2021 page, and scroll down to p. 84, you will find the sum allotted: “Ten million, six hundred and thirty-one thousand euros” (at today’s exchange rates close to twelve million, four hundred thousand dollars).