Volume 34, No. 4 - Winter 1989
Editor of this issue: Antanas Klimas
ISSN 0024-5089
Copyright © 1989 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.


Lithuanian Restructuring Movement (Sąjūdis), Principles

1. To seek openness, democracy, sovereignty, civil rights and social justice through Soviet organs, community and labor organizations.

2. To unite all who seek democracy and all who struggle against stagnation, bureaucracy and false use of power.

3. Structure of Sąjūdis is made up of several groups which include the commission dealing with specific problems, the executive board and the secretariat.

4. Sąjūdis is ruled by the board of executives having judicial power. Until the first Sąjūdis Congress, the duties of the executive board are being carried out by the initial organizing committee. The new board of executives will be re-elected at each conference. Sąjūdis groups will be organized in all community organizations, they are united by the Restructuring Movement and the desire to instill the goals of the Movement. The Commission dealing with unique problems is made up of specialists within those fields.

5. Sąjūdis is seeking restructuring through democratic principles in order to achieve more autonomy while solving economic, political, national, cultural, social and ecological problems while bringing out the real problems of Lithuanians and other nationalities within Lithuania. This right to autonomy must be brought out in the Lithuanian Constitution.

6. The Republic of Lithuania must be on an equal footing within the USSR where its citizens' rights must be justly represented in the writing of laws and in the issuing of government bodies.

7. The main function of Sąjūdis is the presentation of the will of the people, through public deliberation and public dissemination of information.

Objectives of Sąjūdis

Promote, protect, revive all national cultural, historical and moral values, while pursuing cooperation among all nations.

Actively promote and support the protection of natural resources.

Research public opinion with concrete questions on issues, and have complete access to information.

Participate in the law-making process with alternate suggestions.

Provide state and other types of organizations suggestions, for improvements, and questions that need answers.

Participate in public polemics and negotiations with state and other organizations, when their decisions or actions are contrary to justice, to restructuring ideas and infringe on the civil rights of the citizens and members of Sąjūdis.

Participate effectively in elections.

Organize and support public initiative, public organizations, referendums, public discussions, meetings, forums, petition campaigns, etc.

Publish and distribute the information bulletin of "Sąjūdžio žinios."

Sąjūdis is responsible for its collective actions and decisions, but it is not responsible for individual actions.

Sąjūdis's organizational program is approved and corrected by the Sąjūdis Conference, and in between conferences — its elected council.

Coordinating councils consult regularly with Sąjūdis group appointees.

Sąjūdis covers its organizational expenses through public donations.

Sąjūdis's Ecology Program

Lithuania's ecological problems and conflicts were created by unrealistic economic concepts, by inefficient coordination of Soviet and local authorities interests, by lack of personal and public responsibility.

The purpose of the ecology program is to stop all air and water pollution, soil degradation, vegetation defamation and to bring about long-term natural resources conservation policies.

The ecological situation will be evaluated when considering agricultural reforms. Society will be encouraged to actively participate in the conservation of natural resources. Special attention will be given to long-term conservation planning, using all resources available to Sąjūdis.

The primary goal of the ecology program while restructuring the economy is the guarantee to provide a pollution-free environment. This can only be achieved by having open discussions and open mass participation in planning.

It is urgent at this time to:

1. To curtail the expansion of industry and energy projects in Jonava, Kėdainiai, Mažeikiai, Klaipėda and Ignalina.

2. To discuss all ecologically harmful construction with local ecology experts, Lithuania's government and Soviet deputies.

3. To cleanse the Nemunas River and Kuršių Marios (Coorland Lagoon).

4. Construct immediately a water filtration plan in Kaunas by a Lithuanian builder.

5. Publicly discuss the building of a hydro plant in Kaišiadorys.

6. Control pollution by using gas in industry in Vilnius, Mažeikiai, Kėdainiai, Naujoji Akmenė, instead of sulphur tar.

7. Create hygienic-sanitation inspections for food products. Bring on the market as quickly as possible instruments for sanitary inspections.

8. Prohibit the use of soil for growing human or animal food products near factories or other polluted areas.

9. Check all natural preserves, ensuring their protection and enforcing their laws.

10 Establish an ecological monitoring system and publish information regularly concerning natural resource and environmental ecology.

11. Restructure primitive land drainage for better use of land reclamation.

12. Reduce the use of ethane gas.

13. Establish industrial toxicology controls.

14. Encourage regulation methods for economic aspects of natural resources.

15 Strengthen state conservation policies and accountability.

16. Reach the point that public conservation groups reflect public opinion and represent them instead of being dictated to.

Translated by Rūta Penkiūnas


A devastating critique of the Stalin-Hitler Pact from a Marxist perspective was published in the weekly organ of the Lithuanian Writer's Association, Literatūra ir Menas, on September 3, 1988 in Vilnius, Lithuania. The author is Algimantas Rusteika, a historian. Excerpts follow:

"... It's nobody's secret that Stalin's dictatorship and collectivization were introduced in the USSR by means of deportations and murder, threats and terror . . . The regime created by Stalin . . . was a monopolistic social totalitarianism, whose terroristic form of government was not much different from national socialism.

"... The entire world has been familiar for a long time with the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact and with its secret protocols, which established spheres of influence.

"... The sovereign Baltic States received a 'proposal' and were forced to sign treaties with the USSR to permit limited contingents of the Soviet army and to allow the establishment of bases. When Finland refused to sign a treaty, it became immediately clear what kind of 'friendship' was being 'offered' . . .

"... In the summer of 1939 there was still no threat to the USSR from Germany's side. It was simply time to grab what belonged to the USSR according to the secret protocol. When the struggle of the gigantic powers began, little Lithuania manoeu-vered as well as it could. It tried to ask for Germany's protection, without knowing that it had been sold a long time ago. Hitler's vague reply, which was obviously given after a consultation with Stalin, was factually meaningless and only served as a pretext for Stalin to 'justify himself.' Events were developing with a kaleidoscopic speed. On June 14 an ultimatum was received by the Government of Lithuania, demanding a change of the government structure, a permission for Soviet troops to enter Lithuania, and the sentencing of several ministers.

"... Let us confess at last that both the Lithuanian CP and the people were only actors and spectators in a play written and directed by Stalin — the same thing was happening in Latvia and Estonia. There are still people who remember tanks in the streets of Kaunas. Most were unable to orient themselves during these extremely rapid events and were faced with a fait accompli. But in those days such things were not being concealed: the deputies of the new Diet gave thanks to the 'invincible' Red Army and declarations issued during Lithuania's joining of the USSR contained the same statements.

"... Yes, the people were happy to get back Vilnius a year ago. However, joining the USSR was not popular — the memory of Czarism and the national oppression was still alive in the people's minds; they also knew quite a lot about the 'happiness' of the Soviet people under Stalin's heel. Yes, the peasants were happy to receive land but they knew very well that it would be soon taken away and they would be driven to collective farms. The people were not against socialism, but against the terroristic Stalinist empire disguised as socialism, and against a bloody dictatorship. Stalin promptly confirmed these apprehensions. Such were the dialectics and the tragedy of these days . . .

ELTA, No. 70 (30), October 1988


Lithuanians Propose Own Constitution

The announcement of plans by the Gorbachev government to change the Soviet Constitution were immediately denounced by the popular movements in the three Baltic republics. An emergency meeting of the Estonian and Latvian Popular Fronts and the Lithuanian Restructuring Movement (LRM) which was held in Riga on November 8, 1988, led to an unanimous agreement that "the amendments . . . are completely unacceptable . . . and much more reactionary than . . . the current Brezhnev Constitution." The Baltic representatives issued a joint statement recommending that the constitutional amendments and proposed election laws be dropped entirely from a vote in the Supreme Soviet on November 29. The statement also demanded that republics be given equal representation on the official Constitutional Commission.

On November 13, 1988, LRM made public its own draft of a new Lithuanian Constitution, which was approved by the group's 220-member governing council. A massive petition drive calling on the Ail-Union Supreme Soviet in Moscow to drop the proposed amendments to the Soviet Constitution, netted more than 1,800,000 signatures in one week.

The failure of the Lithuanian Supreme Soviet in November to follow Estonia's lead and to declare the republic's sovereignty provoked widespread indignation and resistance in Lithuania. There were demonstrations and strikes in major cities. One of the results was a falling out between the Lithuanian Communist Party and LRM which declared Lithuania's "moral independence" and demanded that a new session of the Lithuanian Supreme Soviet be convoked by November 25.

ELTA, No. 11(359), November 1988