Friday, 7 October 2011

"Peace" Prize Interrupted

This year the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to three women -- Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman of Yemen.

The trio were chosen for their "non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work."

Around this time a year ago, China was outraged that dissident writer Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize, who was stuck in jail unable to receive his award. His wife Liu Xia has been under virtual house arrest too, her internet and phone lines cut off, only able to receive close family for the past year.

It was recently revealed Liu was allowed to go home to Dalian last month -- for 30 minutes -- to observe the formal mourning period for his father who passed away. His three brothers were also able to visit him in jail and reported Liu was in good spirits. There is hope his wife will be able to see him later this month.

After Liu was awarded the prestigious prize, China sought to downplay the the historic event by revealing the Confucius Peace Prize.

The "cultural protection department" started the prize and awarded the inaugural one to Taiwanese vice-president Lien Chan though he was completely unaware of it and didn't come to claim it or the 100,000 RMB ($15,684) cash reward. So to save face, the organizers handed the award to a little girl who they refused to identify.

Perhaps the silly behaviour of this department prompted its parent organization, the Ministry of Culture to suddenly cancel the second Confucius Peace Prize which should have been awarded around now.

Three weeks ago the organizers had announced a short list that included Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the 21-year-old Panchen Lama picked by Beijing, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Yuan Longping, the agricultural scientist known as "the father of hybrid rice".

However the award was apparently scrapped for "violating relevant regulations" and that the department was not authorized to stage such an event and had "severely breached regulations on social organizations".

One wonders what these regulations were but more importantly why was this department allowed to give this award away in the first place?

Perhaps last year was a desperate face-saving measure that resulted in more jeers than healing political wounds, though Norway is still paying financially for the loss of orders for Norwegian salmon in the mainland.

Wonder what that young girl did with all that money? Buy a flashy car or several designer handbags?

1 comment:

  1. what a childish immature political game which is poorly thought out- a laughing stock of the world .