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Joint Statement by the President of the Republic, the Chairman of the Riigikogu and the Prime Minister

Dear fellow countrymen!

65 years ago today thousands of innocent people were arrested and forced out of their homes. That crime against humanity was committed as a result of an entirely secret decision made by a foreign power a month earlier: “Directive on the Deportation of the Socially Alien Element from the Baltic Republics, Western Ukraine, Western Belorussia and Moldavia".

The June deportation revealed the genuine essence of the totalitarian regime. It was this tragic historical experience that later forced many of our countrymen to choose the fate of forest brothers or boat refugees. But the violence could not completely smother the hope and faith of people in the possibility of the restoration of Estonia’s independence.

Freedom is the most valuable asset for every nation. Estonia wants to hold the ideals and aspirations that have brought freedom to our people in high esteem. This is our obligation in front of all generations who have dreamt of determining their own fate and have fought for this using weapons or words. We respect also the path of other nations to their freedom, and we understand that such respect will strengthen our self-esteem and will create respect among other nations of the world towards Estonia’s independence.

We know that the message of freedom should not be buried under the piles of small everyday matters, but should always sound fresh and convincing. This is the strongest guarantee of our capability to firmly keep our freedom both today and in the future.

The belief in the victory for justice helps the truth to rise and the lies to collapse. This belief means not forgetting but remembering all crimes committed against humanity and the victims of those crimes. Our memories will never allow justification of violence that destroys people and their creations. We shall remember, as so we can maintain the vitality of the ideals of freedom.

President of the Republic
Arnold Rüütel

Chairman of the Riigikogu
Toomas Varek

Prime Minister
Andrus Ansip

© 2006 Office of the President l tel: + 372 631 6202 l fax: + 372 631 6250 l