Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Nobel's shining stars who lost their lustre
By Pierre-Henry DESHAYES
Oslo (AFP) Sept 29, 2017


Praised to the skies and bearing great hopes, they went on to disappoint the world: as the case of Aung San Suu Kyi shows, Nobel Peace Prize winners have not always lived up to expectations.

The Norwegian Nobel committee's announcement every October is usually followed by some protest and occasionally a heated debate. Rare are the laureates who are unanimously embraced.

Aung San Suu Kyi was one of those.

Honoured in 1991 for her pro-democracy resistance to Myanmar's junta, the wispy "Lady of Rangoon" was long hailed as a saint.

But now, as Myanmar's figurehead leader, she has been broadly criticised for failing to protect the Muslim Rohingya minority from what some world leaders are calling "ethnic cleansing".

"I'm disappointed," said Geir Lundestad, the influential Nobel committee secretary from 1990 to 2014.

"Aung San Suu Kyi was an extremely popular and deserving laureate, heroic under the circumstances, but I can't condone her behaviour toward the Rohingyas," he told AFP.

Suu Kyi's supporters and many observers say she lacks the authority to rein in the military, which ran the country for 50 years and only recently ceded limited powers to her civilian government.

Nevertheless, almost 430,000 people have signed an online petition calling for her Nobel to be withdrawn, and several other well-respected Peace Prize laureates -- Desmond Tutu, Malala and the Dalai Lama -- have urged her to take action to end the violence.

"It's dramatic," admitted Nobel historian Asle Sveen.

"For a person who fought so hard for democracy and was so popular for so long to find herself in such a situation, it's unusual."

Unusual, but not completely unprecedented.

While Suu Kyi may be in a league of her own, other Nobel stars have also seen their lustre fade over time.

- Flagrant faux pas -

For starters, there's former US president Barack Obama -- "the most similar case", according to Sveen.

His 2009 Peace Prize, awarded just nine months after he took office, was met by many with incredulity but at the time, he was still at the peak of his popularity.

Eight years later, there are still calls for his prize to be withdrawn, especially on social media, because of his failure to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and his intensive use of drone strikes.

"It was impossible for anyone to meet those expectations. They were totally unrealistic," Lundestad said recently.

"I don't think the committee expected Obama to totally revolutionise international politics: it's not about transforming everything, it's about making steps in the right direction."

Other laureates have been accused of committing flagrant faux pas.

Lech Walesa -- the founder of the Soviet bloc's first independent trade union Solidarity and who won the 1983 Peace Prize -- has repeatedly been accused of collaborating with Communist secret services.

Rejecting the allegations in 2009, he threatened to leave Poland and return his awards.

Long before him, Italian pacifist Ernesto Moneta was criticised for having supported his country's decision to go to war against the Ottoman Empire in 1911, four years after receiving his Nobel.

Austria's Bertha von Suttner, the 1905 laureate and a close friend of Alfred Nobel's "proposed that Moneta lose his Nobel Peace Prize and his titles in the peace movement", recalls historian Ivar Libaek in the collective work "The Nobel Peace Prize: One Hundred Years for Peace".

- 'No one's perfect' -

Twice during the post-war period, the choice of Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been so explosive that some committee members have resigned.

One quit in 1994 to protest against the choice of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat alongside Israelis Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin, a year after the signing of the Oslo Accords.

Two others stepped down in 1973 when US secretary of state Henry Kissinger and Vietnamese peace negotiator Le Duc Tho were honoured for reaching a ceasefire -- albeit short-lived -- in Vietnam.

Each time, the debate has smouldered for years.

"He won the Nobel but he dishonoured it. Whether he returns it or not doesn't matter, it must burn his hand when he touches it," fumed former Nobel committee member Berge Furre in 2009 about Peres.

The career politician, who was Israel's president at the time, had defended an Israeli attack on a Gaza school that left more than 40 people dead.

While Le Duc Tho immediately declined his prize, Kissinger accepted his but chose not to go to Oslo to pick it up for fear of massive protests. In 1975, he even offered to hand it back.

The committee refused. The Nobel Foundation's statutes do not allow for it. Neither do they allow for a prize to be withdrawn.

"None of the Nobel laureates is perfect," Lundestad said.

"Many of them probably feel an extra responsibility to act in an exemplary fashion, but once the prize has been awarded, the committee can't do anything anyway."

This year's prize will be announced on October 6.

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
'Action!' orders 87-year-old actress who survived Mexico's quake
Mexico City (AFP) Sept 27, 2017
"Lights! Cameras! Action!" laughingly orders Adela Peralta, an eccentric 87-year-old actress, from her hospital bed as she recounts the incredible ordeal she suffered under the rubble of Mexico's quake. The painful injuries she sustained while trapped for 32 hours before being pulled to safety have done nothing to dent her natural exuberance. "I'm alive and lively," she assured AFP, as s ... read more

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Trump defends Puerto Rico response; Irma death toll at 72 in Florida

Will a new Mexico arise from earthquake's rubble

'Action!' orders 87-year-old actress who survived Mexico's quake

In Dominica, islanders stand strong despite chaos

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Ultra-light aluminum: USU chemist reports breakthrough in material design

Corrosion in real time

Self-healing gold particles

'Naturally' glowing cotton yields dazzling new threads

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Getting the measure of mud

Scientists call for more research on how human activities affect the seabed

Black Sea water temperatures may buck global trend

Discovery of a new group of sponges could help measure impact of deep-sea mining

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Winter cold extremes linked to high-altitude polar vortex weakening

Shipping risks rise as Antarctic ice hits record low

End-of-summer Arctic sea ice extent is eighth lowest on record

Researchers take on atmospheric effects of Arctic snowmelt

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Climate insurance is rarely well thought out in agriculture

Global network of botanical gardens contain a third of all known plant species

Bulgarian village goes Chinese in yoghurt craze

Scientists and farmers work together to wipe out African lovegrass

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Rumbling Bali volcano triggers memories of deadly 1963 eruption

Vanuatu orders mass evacuation of volcano island

Climate change can goad volcanoes into life

Food aid, face masks dispatched to Bali as 75,000 flee volcano

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
The link between drought and riots in sub-Saharan Africa

New ceasefire signed by armed groups

C. Africa asks UN to send more peacekeepers, ease arms embargo

Nigerian journalist detained over report on flood camp protest

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Ancient human DNA in sub-Saharan Africa lifts veil on prehistory

Helping Ponso, sole survivor of 'Chimpanzee Island' in I. Coast

Cell phone data coupled with sewage testing show drug use patterns

Royal tomb of ancient Mayan ruler found in Guatemala




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement