WYMAN & JOHNSON
ATTORNEYS AT LAW
32 UPLAND ROAD WINTHROP, MASSACHUSETTS 02152
TELEPHONE (617) 539-1977
October 17, 1991
Paula J. Dobriansky, Associate Director Bureau of Programs
U.S. Information Agency 301 4th Street, S.W. Washington, DC 20547
Re: Rule of Law Project Proposal for the Baltic States
Dear Ms. Dobriansky:
Thank you for a most enjoyable meeting at USIA last week. At Than Lwin's suggestion, I am forwarding directly to you the enclosed Discussion Paper on the USIA Project Proposal Supporting Constitutional and Judicial Reform in the Baltic States.
In conversations with Mr. Lwin following our meetings with you, Michael Schneider, and others at USIA, I learned that USIA would be pleased to consider us as potential participants in this project. In this connection, I propose al that we should be sent to the Baltic States for three weeks (late November — mid December, 1991) to address issues detailed in paragraph C of our Discussion Paper, and bl that we should thereafter be sent to one of the Baltic countries as "professionals in residence" for six months, beginning January 1, 1992.
We are eager to work on this project, and believe we can make a significant contribution towards its success. Because we have already worked closely with President Landsbergis and the Lithuanian Government on constitutional reform (which raises issues mentioned above and detailed in paragraph C of our Discussion Paper), and bearing in mind that our prototype Constitution of Lithuania has been "on the table" for some while (generating the very debate we said last winter is so necessary
to the process of constitution-making, a process that is far more important than any particular individuals or viewpoints), we are inclined to believe that USIA should find a new face or faces to continue this process, on site, in Vilnius. We are certainly open to returning to Lithuania as professionals in residence; in making the following arguments against our returning in that capacity at this time, we do not want to slight competing
arguments in favor. Rather, we want to explore the issue, for we believe that in doing so we can help to illuminate important considerations.
In Lithuania we worked very closely with President Landsbergis and others at the top of the government; hence, we could provide very valuable information to the person or couple who would spearhead this project in Vilnius. It is possible, however, as detailed in paragraph C of our Discussion Paper, that the "host(s)" for this project should be different from our host(s) last winter; having new professionals in residence and new host(s) might enhance a healthy new look by all concerned at where Lithuania has been, is now, and wants to go. Do not misunderstand: we are very proud of our work to date for Lithuania, and we have forged many close friendships with people who we believe will playa vital role in Lithuania's future. We merely wonder whether, at this particular time, those same friendships (and the very fact that we were intimately involved in defending Lithuania last winter when the tanks were rolling, etc.) might actually get in the way of the kind of work — and the fresh start — that is now needed.
Currently, in Lithuania, some individuals and groups are heavily invested in our work; others are heavily invested in rejecting it; we understand that the former are currently in the ascendancy, but what is most important is that our prototype Constitution al sought to raise a vast array of questions that only the people of Lithuania can find, indeed ordain, their own unique answers to, yet b/ our prototype in fact "answered" each of those questions — but solely as a vehicle to impart a vital meta-message, namely, that all- the answers (which only Li thuania can provide) must together compose a coherent and comprehensive whole. Not surprisingly, some in Lithuania have been diverted by those "answers" from debating the questions and finding their own comprehensive body of answers. Meanwhile, since leaving Lithuania we have written several articles on many matters, given interviews, and otherwise involved ourselves in this process in ways that, again, we are very proud of — but which have also compounded various controversies. These controversies are essentially healthy. The only question we have is whether at this juncture a fresh advisor-host relationship might enhance the likelihood of that essentially healthy controversy becoming even
For us, it is a close call. On balance, we are inclined to believe that we could help Lithuania most — at this juncture from a small distance, namely, from Latvia or Estonia. Because we have developed warm relations with numerous Estonians, including President Ruutel, without becoming enmeshed in constitutional controversies (our work has so far involved police training and customs issues), we believe we could become quickly engaged to maximal advantage in Estonia. However, because .
problems of developing constitutional democracy in Latvia are more complicated and sensitive than elsewhere in the Baltics (due to the large Russian population), we would gladly take on that enormous challenge.
We hope that in sharing these matters candidly we have contributed to your assessment of how we might be put to best use in advancing the cause of constitutional democracy, etc., in the Baltics and elsewhere.
We would be happy to meet with you and your colleagues at the Department of State, AID, and the Department of Justice to discuss this project in more detail, including the final budget.
During the past two years, we have devoted all our energies to building constitutional democracy in the "sovietized" world. We are delighted at the prospect of being able to continue with this very significant and satisfying work. We look forward to hearing from you.
Very truly yours,
cc: Michael Schneider, Deputy Associate Director, Bureau of Programs
Walter Raymond, Jr., Director of European Programs Than Lwin, Chief of Division PjD
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