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DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Malala vows to fight on as she shares Nobel Peace Prize
by Staff Writers
Oslo (AFP) Dec 10, 2014


Norwegian police sorry for 'security breach' at Nobel ceremony
Oslo (AFP) Dec 10 - Police apologised for failing to prevent a man from disrupting the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo Wednesday after he brandished a Mexican flag near laureates and the Norwegian royal family.

"It's a breach in security for which we apologise," Oslo police Chief John Fredriksen told reporters. "It shouldn't have happened."

The man waved the flag in front of Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai and India's Kailash Satyarthi as the Nobel laureates received their prize to rapturous applause.

The incident was taken especially seriously because child rights activist Malala, the target of an assassination attempt in October 2012 that she miraculously survived, remains a target for Islamist extremists.

Police led the man outside Oslo City Hall, where the ceremony was being held, and detained him.

Members of the Norwegian royal family and several members of the government, including Prime Minister Erna Solberg, were within reach of the flag-carrying man.

"That should not have happened," Solberg said. "We must have better security."

According to Norwegian police, the man arrived November 26 in Norway and applied for asylum on Thursday.

He was not armed and was moved to crash the ceremony because he is "concerned by the political developments in Mexico," Fredriksen said.

He is believed to have called out in English to Malala, "don't forget the students in Mexico," Swedish TV channel TV2 reported. He was potentially referring to the disappearance of 43 students who went missing at the end of September in southern Mexico.

The man didn't have an invitation to the ceremony, but he slipped in with a group of journalists.

Supporters in Malala's hometown celebrate Nobel win
Mingora, Pakistan (AFP) Dec 10 - Hundreds of supporters in Malala Yousafzai's hometown cheered as they watched their heroine accept her Nobel Peace Prize on Wednesday on a giant TV, as Pakistan's Prime Minister promised the activist's dream for girls' education would come true.

Students, activists and teachers gathered in a school hall in Swat Valley's main town of Mingora to watch the ceremony, chanting "Long live Malala" and continuing to give her a standing ovation for several minutes.

Security was tight around the town, as soldiers and police patrolled the streets and conducted searches on every vehicle entering and leaving.

Though acclaimed for her work abroad, many conservative Pakistanis view her with suspicion and are critical of her airing the country's problems abroad.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave his congratulations to both Malala and Indian child rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi, who shares this year's Peace Prize with the 17-year-old.

"The dream of Malala regarding girls' education shall be realised," Pakistan Radio quoted Sharif as saying.

Shot in the head by Taliban militants two years ago, Malala's fightback has transformed her into a global icon of girls' education.

At the ceremony, residents distributed sweets among themselves -- a traditional form of celebration -- in front of giant banners reading "You are the pride of Pakistan" and "Congratulations Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai".

But one of the event's organisers, Ahmad Shah, admitted that the turnout was relatively muted because some residents "have spread a negative image of Malala".

Most government and private schools in Swat began the day with prayers and well wishes for Malala.

The teenager first rose to prominence through a blog she kept during a period when the Pakistan Taliban controlled her region, from 2007 to 2009.

Girls' schools were razed, music and dance was banned, and those that dared challenge the authority of the militants were executed publically in Mingora's main square.

Malala Yousafzai vowed Wednesday to struggle for every child's right to go to school as she became the youngest ever Nobel laureate, sharing the peace prize with Indian campaigner Kailash Satyarthi.

"I will continue this fight until I see every child in school," the 17-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl told an audience in Oslo City Hall after receiving the award.

Malala became a global icon after she was shot and nearly killed by the Taliban in October 2012 for insisting that girls had a right to an education.

In a speech peppered with self-deprecating humour, she used the award ceremony to call not just for education but also for fairness and peace.

"The so-called world of adults may understand it, but we children don't. Why is it that countries which we call 'strong' are so powerful in creating wars but so weak in bringing peace?" she said.

"Why is it that giving guns is so easy but giving books is so hard? Why is it that making tanks is so easy, but building schools is so difficult?"

Malala, who described herself as the "first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize who still fights with her younger brothers," triggered applause and also frequent outbursts of laughter during her speech.

But the underlying message was that a world that may soon be able to send a person to Mars still allows millions to suffer from "the very old problems of hunger, poverty, injustice and conflicts."

- 7,000 Norwegian children -

Moments after Malala received the prize, a man carrying a Mexican flag walked towards her, but was caught by security. The motives of the man, who was later identified as a student and asylum seeker from Mexico, were unknown.

Before the ceremony, Malala and Satyarthi met with 7,000 Norwegian children aged between six and 14 in the heart of Oslo.

"You have given me so much energy," Malala said.

"You might not know but there are so many girls who cannot go to school, there are so many boys who cannot go to school," she said.

"They have never dreamed of any iPad, any PlayStation, any Xbox. The only thing that they dream of is a school, a book and a pen."

Satyarthi, 60, was recognised by the Nobel committee for a 35-year battle to free thousands of children from virtual slave labour.

"I refuse to accept that the world is so poor when just one week of global military expenditure is enough to bring all of our children into classrooms," he said after receiving the prize.

"I refuse to accept that the shackles of slavery can ever be... stronger than the quest for freedom."

Malala was 15 when a Taliban gunman shot her in the head as she travelled on a school bus in response to her campaign for girls' education.

Although she almost died, she recovered after being flown for extensive surgery in Birmingham, central England.

She has been based in the city with her family ever since, continuing both her education and activism.

- Indian-Pakistani symbolism -

The pairing of Malala and Satyarthi had the extra symbolism of linking neighbouring countries that have been in conflict for decades.

After she was named as the winner, Malala said she wanted both states' prime ministers to attend the prize-giving ceremony in Oslo.

Although the leaders of the two South Asian arch enemies were not present in Oslo Wednesday, Malala expressed optimism for her region.

"I am... glad that we can stand together and show the world that an Indian and a Pakistani can be united in peace and together work for children's rights," she said.

Satyarthi's organisation Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Movement to Save Childhood) prides itself on liberating more than 80,000 children from bonded labour in factories and workshops across India and has networks of activists in more than 100 countries.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) there are about 168 million child labourers around the world.

Nobel winners receive eight million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million, 862,000 euros), which is shared in the case of a joint win.

The Peace Prize is the only Nobel award handed to recipients in Oslo.

The other prizes -- including literature prize winner, Frenchman Patrick Modiano, and his compatriot Jean Tirole with the economics award -- were awarded Wednesday in Stockholm.

After the ceremony, the recipients were to be celebrated at an elaborate traditional banquet with 1,500 guests at Stockholm City Hall.

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