(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
October 31, 2010
Nobel Peace Prize: Playing Politics
THE award of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the prominent Chinese dissident, Liu Xiabao, is yet another instance of a politically motivated decision on the part of the Nobel award committee. Other controversial recipients of the top prize have been the likes of Henry Kissinger and Menachem Begin. Kissinger played a key role in the Vietnam War, in which more than a million Vietnamese were killed. Le Duc Tho, who was nominated along with Kissinger for negotiating an end to the Vietnam War, refused to accept the prize. Kissinger also had a hand in the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile and the propping up of brutal military regimes in South America, that were responsible for the killings and disappearances of thousands of civilians.
Begin was a
leader of a
terror outfit that played a key role in the creation of the Zionist
the Peace Prize
was awarded to president Barack Obama even as he was busy escalating
the war in
Gandhi was among many deserving
candidates overlooked for the Peace Prize. All the same, many deserving
did win the coveted prize. Martin Luther King, Jr, was given the prize
when he was leading the fight to end racial segregation in the
At the height
of the Cold
War, prominent dissidents in
Nobel has gone to Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian writer known for
ideological tilt. He is a critic of the left wing governments that are
in most of
lent a helping hand in the ideological battle waging at the time
Socialist bloc and the West. The timing of this year’s Peace award for
signal the start of a renewed diplomatic and political onslaught on
reacted predictably with fury at the decision to award the Peace Prize
It was evident for some time that the Nobel jury had decided to bestow
prestigious honour on Liu.
Liu has been openly calling for a change in the political system in China and the introduction of western style politics. He has been in and out of jail since 1989. He was again arrested two years ago after he helped in the drafting of a manifesto named “Charter ‘08”. The Charter, which was a copy of the Charter 77 that was drafted by the Czechoslovakian dissidents led by Vaclav Havel, openly called for radical political reforms that would have made the role of the Communist Party of China (CPC) redundant. The Dalai Lama, another Nobel laureate was among the first to praise the decision of the Nobel committee and called on the Chinese government to immediately release Liu. The Tibetan spiritual leader said that the Nobel Peace Prize for Liu was recognition by the international community that China is in urgent need of reforms.
The Dalai Lama was awarded the Peace Prize in 1989, when China was embroiled in a political crisis, triggered by the Tiananmen incident. The Chinese leadership was very upset at the time when the award was given to someone who they regard as a “splittist” - a code word for a separatist. The West had milked the Tiananmen incident to the utmost. The incident was described as a “massacre”. The CIA had wildly exaggerated the numbers of those killed in the crackdown. The figures that were bandied about in those days, based on CIA reports, was that more than 20,000 were killed in the capital alone. Uli Schmetzer of the Chicago Tribune who was a first hand witness to the events has written that in actual fact not more than a thousand people lost their lives. Schmetzer came to this conclusion after visiting hospitals and relatives of those injured.
The Chinese authorities are viewing the Peace Award to Liu it as the most serious intervention by the West in their internal affairs since the Tiananmen incident. Many western governments had downgraded diplomatic ties with Beijing after the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Prize. The Chinese government has said that the award to Liu is a “desecration” of the Nobel Prize. “Liu Xiabao is a criminal who has been sentenced by Chinese judicial departments for violating Chinese law”, an official statement said. The Norwegian Nobel Committee while announcing the prize had emphasised that despite the Chinese government’s success of lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, basic freedoms have been curtailed.
Thorbjoern Jagland, the chairman of the five member Nobel Committee said that Liu had become the “foremost symbol” of the human rights movement in China. Jagland, a former Norwegian prime minister, is known for his penchant to court controversy. He recently said that it was necessary for the outside world “to keep an eye” on China and to debate on “what kind of China do we want to have”. The Chinese authorities have interpreted this statement as a clear case of interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign country. President Obama hailed the decision of Nobel Committee and called for the immediate release of Liu. He said that the award was a reminder that political reforms in China “had not kept pace” with economic expansion. The US administration is currently putting pressure on China to devalue its currency and give the American Navy freedom to navigate the South China Sea. China’s neighbours have also ganged up, with tacit American support, to assert claims over disputed islands and atolls in the South and East China Seas.
Significantly, the double standards of the Obama administration can be gauged by the position it has taken on the trampling of democracy in Thailand. The brutal suppression of the “Red Shirts” activists on the streets of Bangkok and the denial of fundamental rights, have been glossed over. In other parts of the world, the Obama administration has supported the overthrow of elected governments and propped up authoritarian kingdoms and regimes. The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, speaking a week after the Peace Award was announced, said that politicians from many countries are using the occasion to politically malign China. “This is not only disrespect for China’s judicial system, but also puts a big question mark on their true intentions”, the foreign ministry spokesman said. “If some people try to change China’s political system in this way, and try to stop the Chinese people from moving forward, that is obviously making a mistake”.