“The restoration of the independence of the Republic of Latvia 30 years ago was a significant time period in the course of my personality development, and perhaps that is why I am who I am now – I became a judge to strengthen the rule of law and democratic values ​​in our country.” This was said by the judge of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate Lauma Paeglkalna at the conference dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Latvia's independence “Dream and Fulfilment. Freedom and Independence” in the panel discussion “May we assume today that it could have happened differently?”.

During the discussion, Lauma Paeglkalna talked about her feelings at that time, when she had just reached the age of 13. "It was the time of me becoming a person, it shaped me and my attitude about what was going on around me." She indirectly took part in all discussions of the Popular Front in her place of residence, because her mother Velta Cebotarenoka actively participated in the movement of the Popular Front. "At that moment I grew up" – this is how Lauma Paeglkalna described her feelings after the violent events of January 1991 in Lithuania.

Answering the question of the moderator Gatis Krumins about the way participants of the discussion see Latvia in 30 years, Lauma Paeglkalna believes that our country will be governed by the rule of law, it will be democratic, independent and prosperous. This, of course, can be achieved by becoming a civil society that is dignified, self-sufficient and inclusive. Lauma Paeglkalna emphasized specific challenges that need to be addressed today, such as: caring for the environment which we will leave behind for future generations; competitive education; cybersecurity. "Currently, we see the polarization of opinions in society and the inability to defend our opinions in a dignified way. We must grow as human beings and take responsibility,” said Lauma Paeglkalna.

In the closing panel discussion of the first day of the conference "May we assume today that it could have happened differently?" the children of deputies who voted for the restoration of Latvia's independence took part – Andris Felss, Laima Karlsone, Eriks Kehris and Lauma Paeglkalna. The discussion was chaired by Gatis Krumins, Rector and a leading researcher of Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences.

On August 23 and 24, when celebrating the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Latvia's independence, the Saeima (parliament), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the May 4 Declaration Club and the National Library of Latvia are organizing the conference “Dream and Fulfilment. Freedom and independence". It brings together deputies of the Supreme Council, senior state officials, representatives of the Latvian Popular Front, experts in constitutional law, historians, then diplomats and foreign political leaders to look back at the time of the restoration of Latvia's independence.

 

Information prepared by Baiba Kataja, the Press Secretary of the Supreme Court
Tel.: +371 67020396; e-mail: baiba.kataja@at.gov.lv