VILNIUS – Emotions in Lithuania are running high. The country is reeling from a corona inspired lockdown which has impacted many businesses. Eating establishments display mannequins at tables to create ambiance. Gone are the tourists who sat together in celebration, nibbling on local cuisine and sipping fine wine.

To add insult to injury, influential political groups have rallied together to lead a boycott against Lithuanian tourism. It is a protest against the Lithuanian government’s decision to build a conference centre on a Jewish cemetery, a desecration of holy ground, purchased freehold for the Jewish community in Vilnius.

The impact of the government’s decision is set to result in the loss of thousands of jobs as a consequence of the boycott. Most Lithuanians believe that the controversial decision is a constraint on enhancing positive diplomatic relations in the international playing field.

An independent poll conducted by CBD News Agency concluded that 58.4% Lithuanians did not favor the construction of the conference centre in Vilnius, 16.3% believed it would be favorable and 25.3% didn’t have an opinion.


Barry Jenkins
Human Right’s Watch (Europe)