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Valdis Zatlers

Valdis Zatlers

Public activities

Projects Supported by the President

Rīga:  The European Cultural Capital in 2014

Rīga will be the European Cultural Capital in 2014.  The city will pulsate with events that will demonstrate Latvian culture and the traditions of the Latvian people.  This will allow people to see ways in which culture changes and influences the lives of individuals and the city.  Culture can be a driving engine in ensuring that times of change are a positive challenge.

 
 
 

 

Presidential Lectures at the University of Latvia

As part of the celebrations of the 90th anniversary of the University of Latvia, President Zatlers suggested the establishment of a cycle of lectures, “Readings by World Leaders.”  This series of presidential lectures is aimed at allowing representatives of academia, the intelligentsia and the media in Latvia to hear the thoughts of distinguished global figures from a variety of disciplines – people who can offer a broader view as to economic, political and social issues that are of a global nature and encourage further thought about how things should develop.

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Rural Library Support Association

 

President Valdis Zatlers is a fan of the Rural Library Support Association and its festivals.  For four years now, he has actively supported the organisation and encouraged everyone in Latvia to take part in the wonderful process that is reading.  The President has also called on people to donate books to libraries. 

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Youngsters’ Songs for Latvia

President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers has agreed to be godfather to the “Youngsters’ Songs for Latvia” competition, and he has expressed his support for it, adding that he hopes that the contest will be a big success, because strong and large families are the foundation of Latvia. The President feels that such families raise talented, self-confident and patriotic children, while adults gain strength and support when everyone joins together in celebrating holidays and keeping the people’s cultural heritage alive.  Singing children are a matter of great pride for Latvia, the President says, thanking parents who have taught their kids to love songs and Latvia’s traditions.

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The Cemetery of the Brethren

President Zatlers has become patron of a project aimed at renovating the Rīga Cemetery of the Brethren. Latvia’s largest and most outstanding memorial ensemble is to get a complete facelift. The cemetery is the final resting place of some 2,000 soldiers, 200 of them unknown, from World War I and the liberation battles which occurred from 1915 until 1920. 

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Installation of a Memorial Sign for President Kārlis Ulmanis

One day before the celebration of the 90th anniversary of Latvia’s independence, on November 17, 2009, President Zatlers became the first donor in a fundraising campaign aimed at installing a memorial sign to former Latvian President Kārlis Ulmanis in the Turkmen city of Turkmenbashi.  That is where the last leader of the independent pre-war Latvian state spent the last years of his life.  He died in prison.  The Rīga Latvian Association and the Fund to Develop National Culture are organising the fundraising efforts.

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The “Heartbeats for the Baltic States” Unity Run

August 23, 2009, was the 20th anniversary of the Baltic Way, where more than one million people linked hands in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in a 600-kilometre chain from Tallinn in the North to Vilnius in the  South.  This was an example of non-violent resistance and a symbol of the yearning of the Baltic peoples for freedom.  In order to remind people of the historically and emotionally important event and to allow younger generations to feel a similar sense of unity, President Zatlers initiated the “Heartbeats for the Baltic States” unity run on August 23, 2009.  

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The 20th Anniversary of May 4

May 4, 1990, was the most important turning point in the restoration of Latvia’s independent statehood.  On that date, members of the Soviet Latvian Supreme Council met to approve a declaration on the restoration of independence. This was the start of the process of actual recovering fully independent statehood. Lots of people invested their hearts and their ideas in this process by joining the Latvian People’s Front, attending demonstrations, shaping public opinion in Latvia’s regions, and voting for People’s Front representatives in local government elections on December 10, 1989, and Supreme Council elections on March 18, 1990.

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Latvia’s 90th Anniversary

On November 18, 2008, all of Latvia commemorated the 90th anniversary of the country’s proclamation of independence in 1918.  President Zatlers was actively involved in the many events that took place that day.  The slogan for the celebration was “Light Up for Latvia,” and there were events throughout the anniversary year.

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The 150th Birthday of Jānis Čakste

Because of his belief that history is the foundation of the present and an important component of the future, President Zatlers supported a series of events aimed at commemorating the first president of the Republic of Latvia, Jānis Čakste, on and around the 150th anniversary of his birth in 2009.  On September 14, the President attended a conference that was titled “Justice Will Always Win,” which was organised at the University of Latvia.  In his address, the President said that “the things which Čakste said about tireless work on behalf of the Latvian state and about the unanimity of that state – these remain very important today.  We are in an age when many people in Latvia are waiting for advice, and the time has come to listen to information about Čakste as the leader of a democratic country.”

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The Youth Cabinet of Ministers

In 2009, President Zatlers was involved in a unique project that was called the Youth Cabinet of Ministers.  For ten weeks, 15 young leaders worked at Latvia’s government ministries to learn about the work of civil servants at various levels, to express their views as to important issues in the various sectors, and to offer alternative solutions to issues on the agenda of the real Cabinet of Ministers. 

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The “Collective Memory” project

Dedicated to the 90th anniversary of Latvia, the “Collective Memory” project was launched at the Rīga Castle on October 24, 2008. The project brings together the stories told by millions of eyewitnesses to what has happened over the course of the year – historical events, as well as personal experiences and memories which will be found on the basis of countries, locations, languages or specific keywords. Each person in Latvia is invited to help in putting together our nation’s living history – something that is best found in the individual experiences and memories of our parents and grandparents. These are often ideas which have not been documented.

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