Wed, May 15, 2013 - Page 12 News List

King of no country

Romas Lileikis, president of the Republic of Uzupis, talks about how his ‘independent country’ can thrive even without political recognition

By Ho Yi  /  Staff reporter

So comes the inevitable question: What happens when the system of values and thinking from the outside world clashes with that of Uzupis?

To Lileikis, the answer lies in the recognition that the world itself is made up of contradictions and paradoxes, and that through dialogues, people are able to make mistakes — a right protected by the republic’s constitution — communicate, “meet each other and be together.” It is through communication that the Lithuanian authorities have changed from being “in a long, long, long silence” when first confronted with the independence movement of Uzupis into signing a treaty that respects its constitution, as it is believed by Lileikis.

“You must live in such a way that no one is afraid of anyone else,” the artist muses.

When asked what suggestion he can give to Taiwan, a nation also not internationally recognized and full of contradictions, Lileikis the president didn’t hesitate with his answer.

“To be open, and to be not afraid of being open,” he says.

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