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December 3, 2007

The Prime Minister Andrus Ansip replied to the interpellation concerning the analysis and consequences of the riot in April, presented by Member of the Riigikogu Evelyn Sepp.

The Prime Minister explained that the hastened removal of the grave mark in Tõnismägi had been the sole possible solution for recovering of internal security and sense of security. On 26 April, the Ministry of Defence began to perform the duties arising from the Protection of War Graves Act, having notified all relevant authorities and agencies in advance. The planned activities were to be carried out discreetly and publicly. As the riots in the streets were escalating, the Government crisis management committee made the proposal to the Government to immediately remove the grave mark which served as the pretext for organising of mass disorders. “We had all been able to witness, immediately as well as via the media, in the centre of Tallinn the threats which prompted the Government of the Republic to make the extraordinary decision on the proposal of the Government of the Republic crisis management committee,” said Ansip. Security authorities have been preparing analyses concerning the possible developments related to the war grave in Tõnismägi and the associated persons since as early as 2005 when the monument became to be systematically used for incitement of national hatred. “In 2006, the Government decided to organise the legal space relating to war graves in order to be totally predictable, reasonable and complying with law in its activities. The legal space of Estonia has continued to be organised also following the events in April, with a view ensuring better internal security,” the Prime Minister observed.

During the open microphone, Aivar Riisalu, Toivo Tootsen and Arvo Sarapuu took the floor.

The verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian) is available at: https://www.riigikogu.ee/?op=steno

The Riigikogu Press Service