Positive developments for the NGO sector

Association

Inga Aksamitauskaitė, project coordinator at NGO Information and Support Center, spoke with the CIVICUS Monitor to highlight the accomplishments for the NGO sector in 2019. She stated: 

“After 2 years of intensive advocacy, we finally got the government’s promise to establish a National NGO Fund by amending the Law on the Development of NGOs approved in 2013. We believe that amending this law is the best option for civil society for it may guarantee long term dependable funding for the third sector. The government kept the promise and approved the new version of the law in June, and in July they presented it to the parliament. Now parliament’s committees need to evaluate it and it should be presented for final approval soon, hopefully within the next two months.”

Aksamitauskaitė emphasised that the amendment to the law is just a first step on the road leading to a sustainable and dependable funding structure. 

Peaceful Assembly

According to media reports, on 23rd August 2019, Chinese diplomats and overseas Chinese citizens disrupted a pro-Hong Kong protest in Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius. Lithuanian foreign minister Linas Linkevičius told local media that the Chinese diplomats crossed the line as diplomats can observe demonstrations but should refrain from active participation.

According to Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, “It is only natural and totally reasonable for overseas Chinese citizens to express indignation and opposition towards the violent offences in Hong Kong and attempts to split China and tarnish its image.” 

In his view, “Chinese diplomats there fulfil their duties in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. They didn't do anything against local laws.”