Foundation of Estonian National Independence Party by Väärtnõu

In 1987, the leader of the Buddhist Brotherhood, Vello Väärtnõu, came up with the idea and programme of the Estonian National Independence Party. So, the Estonian Buddhist Brotherhood can be considered a part of the Estonian fight for independence. Taola was the only place that printed, copied and disseminated leaflets. At the time of the creation of the ENIP, Väärtnõu was helped by Tiina Hallik, Anu Rootalu and Eve Pärnaste, who acted as the secretary of Taola, and by other members of the Brotherhood. On 30 January 1988, Väärtnõu organised a press conference in Moscow for accredited foreign newspapers and made a public announcement of the establishment of an opposition party. This event was covered in the press around the world, but not a word was published in the local press. However, the news spread like a wildfire among the public. The Brotherhood’s house was under constant surveillance by the KGB, the Buddhist library was “cleaned” on several occasions, and the militia was used against Taola. All this resulted in the deportation of Väärtnõu from the country by the personal order of Gorbatshev in February 1988.​

The deportation of Väärtnõu and others put an end to the successful activities of the first team of the Buddhist Brotherhood in Estonia. For years, Väärtnõu lived and studied with Khenpo Namgyal from a Bhutanese Monastery in the Himalayas, and later lived in Sweden.​

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