Monday, October 18, 2010

[socialactionfoundationforequity:8020 Nobel Peace Prize should go to Sri Lanka

Buzz It
Nobel Peace Prize should go to Sri Lanka

Tue, 2010-10-19 01:46 — editor
By Shenali Waduge

The guidelines set forth by Alfred Nobel the creator of dynamite in
his will written on 27 November, 1895 was simple and straightforward
and left approximately 94% of his wealth to establish five prizes for
physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace.

The prizes were to be awarded to "those who, during the preceding
year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind"… people
who were working towards "fraternity between nations, for the
abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and
promotion of peace congresses."…. yet the Nobel awards given annually
have been full of controversies. Alfred Nobel's criterion gives
impetus for Sri Lanka to be awarded the Nobel peace prize. That Sri
Lanka has not been thus far nominated depicts further controversies
that shroud this global award.

Much of the controversies that surround the Nobel Prize stem from
Alfred Nobel himself whose legal residency were unclear. Despite being
a Swedish citizen, Nobel's will indicated that he wanted the Peace
prize to be selected by the Norwegian Storting (Parliament). It was
only five years after his death that the first Nobel prizes were
awarded in 1901 for a prize worth $1.4million. The Nobel prizes &
Prize in Economic Sciences have been awarded 543 times between 1901
and 2010.

Much of the controversy that undermines the selection of the Nobel
prizes especially the peace prize manifest from discrepancies by the
Nobel Committee as a result of moving away from Nobel's guidelines.
This was clearly violated when the Nobel Committee chose to award the
peace prize to US President Barak Obama in 2009, his nomination coming
just two weeks into his accepting the US presidency. Yet, the prize
may to an extent justify the decision to give US President Roosevelt
for his role in ending war between Russia and Japan in 1905. According
to Nobel's criterion Roosevelt's role played in separating Panama from
Colombia in 1903 flouting international laws can be sidelined in view
of Nobel's criterion "preceding year" as Roosevelt became the first
statesman to be recipient of a peace prize. Roosevelt's award was
greeted with surprise some even opining that a peace prize should not
be awarded to a Statesman. Again, nowhere does Nobel deny a statesman
the right to receive an award or be nominated for one. Thus, it is
clear that the Nobel Committee is today seen adapting their own
criterion to nominate and select Nobel awardees.

In 1973, Ms. Aase Lionaes, Chairman of the Committee explained that
the awards would go to statesman "exercising political responsibility
and heavily committed to the confusing maelstrom of events. They were
awarded the Peace Prize because in the course of their activities they
had indicated the road that should be followed….They were awarded the
Peace Prize because, within the framework of the politically possible,
they championed a peace which, though it might not be perfect, was
nevertheless a step along this road".

What better person than President Rajapakse could be nominated for the
Peace Prize? He arguably remains the world's only Statesman to take
the decision to "exercise political responsibility", to be "heavily
committed" to the need to eliminate terrorism from Sri Lanka…to
"champion a peace" which was a "step along" the road that Sri Lanka
now needs to follow.Anyone, arriving in Sri Lanka should ignore all
the politically biased literature, studies, papers on Sri Lanka's post-
war and travel around the country, move with the ordinary people and
see and judge for themselves and hear from the people their happiness
to be walking around their country without the thought of LTTE
bombers, suicide cadres and farcical peace and ceasefires that
existed. This is the only way to judge what the people of a country
think…not from mouths of those who are paid to tell lies, paid to
distort the truth & paid to create dissent.

This automatically shifts the argument of peace nomination to ask the
question "for whom should the "cause of peace" benefit? Should it be
"peace" in the sense of it being agreeable to the international
community, to organizations need global strife to exist to survive, to
international interests that monetarily benefit by supplying to
continue that strife and local entities paid to vocalize dissent and
create disintegration or should it be "peace" that is relevant to the
people of that nation? It would be good to know why the Nobel
Committee has never really solicited what the people think in deciding
nominees for peace prize!

The existence of the LTTE undoubtedly suited many but not the majority
of the people.

It was a perfect ploy for India to destabilize a friendly nation, it
was a perfect movement for international players and Governments to
descend upon the island nation and use it to spy upon nations
surrounding Sri Lanka by promulgating strategies and efforts that
would tie those countries to western ideology. It was a means to
create cultural division which explains why the majority of peace
crusaders were Christian or Catholic using the "conflict" to
"convert". For Tamils already divided by caste and demographic racism
(Jaffna Tamils against Eastern Tamils, and both deploring the Estate
Tamils) it suited the richer and those with means to cry "foul" and
create reasons to migrate as "refugees'. Close to 1m of the 2.4m
Tamils (12% of Tamils in Sri Lanka) of Sri Lanka are actually now
living overseas! The conflict was even used by some politicians (both
in Government and Opposition), some Government officials, some
military personnel and many others who found another means to make a
living out of years of conflict.

This is why the LTTE was a terrorist movement for many of its
decisions to assassinate and attack was based on monetary transactions
or political favors. We must demand why international Governments,
their politicians, international NGOs/INGOs and even the UN chose to
ignore these obvious facts. Along with the LTTE they too must shoulder
accountability for the thousands that have died in vain.

Sri Lanka's nomination if ever it does happen is likely to create
further controversy. The above players to conceal their own
"conscious" blunders are likely to cry foul but if Alfred Nobel's
guidelines are to be followed the peace prize nomination must go to
Sri Lanka.

Looking back at the controversial awards given we can but showcase a
few though we must note that the Nobel Committee comprises Norwegians
most of whom are Norwegian politicians which again raises an eyebrow
on transparency and independence of decision making. Some of the
controversial peace awards have been awarded to Ossietzky in 1935
which the Germans disapproved, Dalai Lama's award in 1989 was also
politically motivated and meant to sting China and similar to the 2010
peace prize which again attempts to chide China. In 1973, US Secretary
of State Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese spokesman Le Duc was
nominated though North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam soon after &
reunified it under the communist party. Kissinger was a key player in
the Turkish intervention on Cyprus and its partition. In 1994, Yasser
Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin were declared joint winners
despite many referring to Arafat as "an unrepentant terrorist". In
2002 Jimmy Carter was awarded the peace award for "decades of untiring
effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to
advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social
development" yet the award was given alongside President Bush's
decision to invade Iraq on the pretentious weapons of mass destruction
excuse. The award in 2004 given to Wangari Maathai was despite her
stating that AIDS was developed by Western scientists to depopulate
Africa as well as the 1992 award to Rigobert Menchu for her memoirs
which ended up being false!

Yet the most surprising award was in 2009 when it was given to Barak
Obama for even the winner was "surprised"…the nomination clearly
flouted Nobel's own guidelines and lead us to certainly ask "what has
Obama accomplished….in 2009 or even in 2010"? His acceptance speech
clearly defended his war effort "a non-violent movement could not have
halted Hitler's armies.

Negotiations cannot convince Al-Qaeda's leaders to lay down their
arms"…" that force is sometimes necessary " for America the only
terrorists in the world are terror movements that go against US and US
interests… western ideologists are every ready to accuse countries
they desire to bully with issues of human rights violations but
ignores their own inhuman treatment.

The US may like to be reminded of their treatment of Iraqi soldiers at
the Abu Ghraib prison where US became embarrassed by "nudity, rape,
human piling of nude detainees, masturbation, eating food out of
toilets, crawling on hand and knees while American soldiers were
sitting on their back sometimes requiring them to bark like dogs, and
hooking up electrical wires to fingers, toes, and penises" 2004
photos. In addition cases of waterboarding, enhanced interrogations
that are illegal & inhuman, illegal detention centers in Guantanomo
Bay and extraordinary detentions in Diego Garcia are just a few of the
violations by the US that go ignored.

If Anwar Sadat (President of Egypt) was awarded the peace prize in
1978 for fighting against British rule by violence…why should
President Rajapakse be denied nomination for eliminating the world's
worst terrorist outfit banned by 31 nations?

In denying Sri Lanka a nomination for the peace prize it does raise a
very simple question "if the task is to select a person who has done
more for peace…should it not be awarded to someone who has actually
ended a prevailing conflict especially when the awardees is a
politician who holds the reigns to deciding on war or peace"? While
all other peace recipients of the past have been awarded for
"presumed" half complete thoughts, efforts and actions…only Sri Lanka
can boast of being the Only nation in the world to have completely
annihilated the LTTE military leadership nullifying LTTE's terror
reign in Sri Lanka. If that is not good enough for a peace prize then
it is clear that the world is out to punish Sri Lanka for doing the
impossible largely due to the internationalization of the LTTE which
helped foreign politicians gain votes to advance their political
careers! Most of the other voices that were in favor of the LTTE were
also as a result of advantages monetary and otherwise that came their
way. Why else would anyone desire to back a terror movement that has
been banned and a terror movement that became what it is because of

With or without Sri Lanka being nominated for a Nobel peace prize, the
Nobel prizes continue to be controversial but by purposely excluding
Sri Lanka from being nominated for the Nobel peace award it clearly
depicts the bias and prejudice that surrounds this international

Nevertheless, should Sri Lanka be awarded the peace prize half of that
prize money should be dedicated to a fund that would be primarily for
the families of fallen heroes, their children's education and health
as well as for all other heroes that contributed towards the defeat of
the LTTE and prevailing of peace in Sri Lanka.

Let us hope that the Norwegian Nobel Committee can be benevolent for
2011 peace award.

- Asian Tribune -

Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth. - Mohandas Gandhi

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