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On Celebrating the Day of Restoration of Independence

To celebrate the Day of Restoration of Estonian Independence, today a public concert listened to by many people, among others Prime Minister Juhan Parts, Chairwoman of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma, Members of the Government and the Riigikogu, took place in the Rose Garden of the Office of the President.

''I am convinced that Estonia is a country where democratic principles, including the freedom of thought, are respected and which is characterized by European tolerance for alternative opinions. We have had no less than twelve long years to learn it, however, some statements made recently have given the impression as if some of our politicians were longing for times when there was only one truth and only one opinion was permitted,'' President Rüütel in his speech on the occasion said.

President Rüütel further emphasized that the Estonian independence was restored by our people, and thanked the Estonians for that as well as for the successful transition period. The President of the Republic wound up by calling on the Estonian people to stick together: ''…also in a uniting Europe and globalizing world, the strength of a small nation consists in its internal unity and in the capability of society to live in harmony.''

At the concert, the Boys Choir of the Estonian National Opera conducted by Hirvo Surva and the Band of the Estonian Defence Forces conducted by Indrek Toompere performed.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, August 24, 2003

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