The President of the Republic met victims of the violence of alien powers in Viljandi

President Lennart Meri met nearly six hundred victims of the violence of foreign powers in Viljandi today, and delivered to them the badge of Broken Cornflower at the ceremony ''Estonia Remembers''. The President recalled all the victims of the Soviet and Nazi occupations and thanked those who had defied the violence of totalitarian regimes and remained true to Estonia.

In his speech, the President of the Republic regretted that the opinion that we should forget the unpleasant events of the past and concentrate only on the current political and economic problems seemed to be taking shape in Estonia. Recognising the past, we will be able to avoid the recurrence of such crimes in the future.

As the Head of State said, the crimes against humanity and military crimes committed by the institutions of the communist Soviet Union and the Third Reich would never lapse. This fact in itself precludes the possibility that these crimes could be politicised. ''I hope that the politicians understand this, and will make their decision proceeding from the principles of the rule of law, and not from current political interests,'' President Meri said.

Tomorrow evening, President Meri will pay homage to the victims of the violence of alien powers in V├Áru.

Press Service of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, May 30, 2001