Ilves urges Es­to­ni­ans be ac­tive in main­tain­ing their free­dom

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On the an­niver­sary of the restora­tion of Es­to­nian in­de­pen­dence on Au­gust 20, 1991, former Es­to­nian Pres­i­dent Toomas Hen­drik Ilves has warned that free­dom can be lost qui­etly if it is seen as a state of be­ing that does not re­quire ac­tion.

Es­to­nian pub­lic broad­caster ERR pub­lished on Mon­day, Au­gust 20, re­marks made by the former long-time Es­to­nian Pres­i­dent on his Facebook page in Es­to­nian on the event of the key an­niver­sary. «If we re­main quiet as we see oth­ers los­ing their free­dom, then we have for­got­ten what it was like when oth­ers were quiet else­where as we lost our own free­dom,» warned Ilves.

He con­tin­ued: «What is go­ing on in many coun­tries has demon­strated that in­cit­ing mistrust in politi­cians, journalism, and the jus­tice sys­tem will re­sult in the de­struc­tion of a trust-based civil so­ci­ety, growth in in­tol­er­ance and the de­cline of free­dom,»

Fi­nally, the former Es­to­nian Pres­i­dent sug­gested: «Free­dom is not a state of be­ing, but rather a will and ac­tion. Let us know not to for­feit this abil­ity to de­sire free­dom; rather, let us know to keep and cul­ti­vate it.»

Ker­sti Kalju­laid, the cur­rent Pres­i­dent of Es­to­nia, has in her speech at the oc­ca­sion of the restora­tion of Es­to­nian in­de­pen­dence pointed to the im­por­tance of res­i­dents en­gag­ing in the po­lit­i­cal process and the dis­cus­sion with politi­cians on the best pos­si­ble com­mon fu­ture. Re­gard­ing the po­lit­i­cal sea­son un­til the 2019 Es­to­nian par­lia­men­tary elec­tion she urged to re­mem­ber, how ac­tive peo­ple were dur­ing the col­lapse of the Soviet Union.

«Back then we had the strength to en­gage in pol­i­tics– to en­gage with the en­tire na­tion and to pur­sue com­plex po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­ity. In much more com­pli­cated con­di­tions then what we have to­day,» reads the speech of Kalju­laid pub­lished on the web site of the Es­to­nian Pres­i­dent.

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