The World Lithuanian Community (PLB) and the World Lithuanian Youth Association held a conference commemorating the Community’s 65th anniversary in the resort town of Palanga, Lithuania, on August 3-6. Before the session began, a dedication took place on the Hill of Angels in Trakai for a wooden carving, the “PLB Angel”.The sculpture by folk artist Saulius Lampickas is a symbol of Lithuanian unity. Nearly 4 metres high, the oaken sculpture is the 55th to be erected on the Hill, and represents the 55 nations worldwide where there are Lithuanian communities.
The congress began immediately after the dedication, with members of the board of the World Community, chairs and other representatives from 30 countries, the Youth Association as well as members of Seimas and officials from various ministries and institutions. The program included reflections on PLB history as well as current business and planning for the organization’s future. Important topics were Lithuanian security, communication with Lithuanian institutions, strategies to strengthen allegiance in the diaspora and to counter disinformation.
When it was established 65 years ago, one of PLB’s primary goals was political lobbying for Lithuania – to ensure that world nations recognized its independence in 1918, to remind the world of Soviet oppression during the occupation, to ensure recognition again in 1990, and to promote its membership in NATO and the European Union. The diaspora has been a key source of economic aid, development and investment for Lithuania. Members of the Lithuanian diaspora are volunteer ambassadors for Lithuania in both political and cultural life. During the conference, discussions were also held about the upcoming referendum regarding the issue of maintaining Lithuanian citizenship and changes to Article 12 of the Lithuanian Constitution, with emphasis on the need for clear information to be provided to citizens about the referendum.
A brief historical overview of PLB is available in Lithuanian at the organization’s website: