The majority of Lithuanians are opposed to the construction of a planned conference center (known as Vilnius Congress Centre project) in Vilnius, Lithuania, writes Barry Jenkins.
Influential political groups have rallied together to lead a boycott against Lithuanian tourism. It is a protest against the Lithuanian government’s decision to build a conference centre on a Jewish cemetery, a desecration of holy ground, purchased freehold for the Jewish community in Vilnius.
Most Lithuanians believe that the controversial decision is a constraint on enhancing positive diplomatic relations in the international playing field.
A poll conducted by an independent news agency concluded that 58.4% Lithuanians did not favor the construction of the conference centre in Vilnius, 16.3% believed it would be favorable and 25.3% didn’t have an opinion.
The Lithuanian government's plan is being challenged by the Save Vilna initiative. Locals in Lithuania who have their ears close to the ground, are cautiously optimistic that the government will scuttle their plan for the construction of the proposed conference center. The White House has strongly condemned the government's proposal, as reported by Sam Barker of International Human Rights Watch.
Barry Jenkins is a contributor to Humans Right Watch and Huffington Post.