Nobel Peace Prize should go to Sri Lanka
Posted on October 18th, 2010

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 was 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.

 

Nobel Prizes  Awarded to one
Laureate
Shared by two Laureates Shared by three Laureates
Physics 47 29 28
Chemistry 62 22 18
Medicine 38 31 32
Literature 99 4
Peace 62 28 1
Economic
Sciences
22 15 5
Total number: 330 129 84

 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 & 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 & 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 & 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 & 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 & attack were based on monetary transactions or political favors. We must demand why international Governments, their politicians, international NGOs/INGOs & 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 & 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 & 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 awardee 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 & 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 & 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 killing?

 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 & prejudice that surrounds this international award.

 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 & health as well as for all other heroes that contributed towards the defeat of the LTTE & prevailing of peace in Sri Lanka.

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

 Shenali Waduge

7 Responses to “Nobel Peace Prize should go to Sri Lanka”

  1. gunarat Says:

    Most people do not know whether the Nobel committee accepts nominations from outsiders.

    If it does, then Ms. Waduge or someone else should nominate President Rajapakse for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.

    Meanwhile, Ms. Waduge should send copies of this article to each member of the committee, if she can find their names.

  2. Malinda Says:

    Shenali
    As a reputed journalist in Colombo, I congratulate you on your excellent journalistic skills. You are a lot better than some of our newspaper journalists, say at Lakbima etc.

    I feel that we should not worry about the Nobel prize anyway because it is given only to members of their club and let them have it.

    If you like any tips on writing, please email on my address in newspaper articles.

    Malinda

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    We do agree with you, Shenali, that President Rajapakse does deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. To do this would be challenging for those who do decide who gets the Nobel prizes, to go beyond their partisan outlook, and step into the present day real world where people are well informed enough to judge decision makers. Decision makers will earn the respect of the entire world if they have the courage to do what is right by the whole world.

  4. malinsene Says:

    Shenali,

    I don’t think there’s any ‘senior journalist’ by the name of Malinda writing in Sri Lankan newspapers. I have been contributing regular columns for 10 years and i don’t think this makes me a ‘reputed journalist’. I would be the last to ask anyone to contact me for tips on writing and certainly wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to tell you this on a public forum. :)

    Our common friend told me about this. Hadn’t seen it before.

    Cheers and more strength to you!

    Malinda

  5. Konnapu Bandara Says:

    Shenali, dear lady, I couldn’t agree with you more. In fact you might be interested to read what another group of patriots wrote about the same subject.

    A small excerpt from their web site http://nobelpeaceprizeforsrilanka.blogspot.com/

    [Following in the footsteps of that most compassionate of men, President Abraham Lincoln, vilified in his own time for pursuing the US Civil war with utmost vigor to bring it to a victorious end in four short years, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa launched a Humanitarian Operation with equal determination to liberate the enslaved people of North and East, and to deliver all people of Sri Lanka from the clutches of terrorism. They were dedicated to eradicating by leaf, branch, trunk and root every vestige of the violence and arbitrary exercise of power that the terrorists had unleashed, to reunifying the nation, and to restoring to all its people the protection of the fair and just laws of our democratic form of government. Their humanitarian compassion for the plight of their people rescued Sri Lanka from descending into the lawless abyss that grips Somalia today.]

    Cheers!

  6. AsokaK Says:

    Obama got the peace prize last year for talking about peace and then went on to escalate the war !
    Mahinda should have got it last year.

    It is a white man’s racket.
    Chinese political prisoner chosen to rattle China, the future leader of the world replacing crumbling & bumbling war criminal USA.

    Why didn’t they give it to the Cuban 5 political prisoners in US jails for the last decade without even family visits allowed.

  7. Nanda Says:

    To be honest, Prhabhakaran is another good candidate for this outrageous group from Norway ! They were the peace brokes and he gave his life to protect the peace accord. In fact more candidates in Sri lanka appearing now.
    Why not Eric Solehiem ?

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