Is the Nobel Peace Prize a Sham?
There is no denying the fact that over the past many years, the world has experienced a growing disillusionment with the choices of the laureates of the Nobel Prize. The Nobel Peace Prize, which is one of the most prestigious awards of all times, was created by Alferd Nobel to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of people in the fields of Chemistry, Physics, economics, literature, medicine and Peace. One view suggests that, it is ironic that numerous people accused of committing crimes against humanity have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. It seems befitting that Alferd Nobel, the creator of Dynamite, established this prize after he was called the merchant of death by a French Newspaper. What does the Peace Prize symbolizes? It symbolizes both the quest and attainment of peace by a person. It is obvious that a person who brings peace to a conflict and replaces prosperity with poverty certainly qualifies to be awarded the Nobel Prize.
It seems convincing that some winners of the Nobel Peace Prize need to understand what peace is? Johan Galtung, the father of Peace studies has made a clear
distinction between negative and positive Peace. The term Negative peace refers to the absence of violence whereas positive peace refers to “restoration of relations and creation of social systems.” The recent Myanmar genocide has once again disillusioned the world with the Nobel Peace Prize. The recent genocide campaign in Myanmar has resulted in the killing of thousands of Muslims while forcing tens of thousands to take refuge in Bangladesh. According to “The Sun”, approximately 126,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since 25thAugust, 2017.
Rohingya, a minority Muslim population in Myanmar has been subject to prejudice and have been denied citizenship in the country, despite being inhabitants of Myanmar for generations. Rohingya Muslims are of South Asian descent and were the inhabitants of the independent kingdom of Arakan, now called Rakhine state in today’s Myanmar. The Rohingya were introduced to Islam by the Arab traders over a period of time Arakan developed close ties with Bangladesh. Arakan was attacked by the Burman King Bodawapya resultantly many refugees fled to Bangladesh. Later,
Burma as invaded by Japan however the British managed to liberate Burma from Japanese occupation by forging an alliance with Aung San’s nationalists and Rohingya fighters. The British failed to fulfill their promise of autonomy hence the Rohingya felt betrayed.
According to CNN, aid organizations have severely criticized the Myanmar government for its mistreatment of Rohingya Muslims and causing persistent human rights violation. One of the biggest challenges faced by Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s leadership is the tension between Rohingya Muslim minority and majority Buddhists. Last October, violence in the northern region broke out when nine police officers on the western border with Bangladesh were killed by armed Rohingya men. Soldiers in response, sealed off the remote part of the country by cutting off all aid and media access. The Rohingya minority are called illegal migrants from Bangladesh by many people in Myanmar.
Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, who once was considered an inspiring figure as she embodied her country’s battle for democracy, is now been severely criticized for grave human rights violation in Myanmar. Following the genocide and the exodus of tens thousands of refugees into Bangladesh, Ms. Aung has come under enormous international pressure. Faced with tremendous criticism, the State Counselor of Myanmar finally broke silence on the crises in Myanmar. Addressing media on 7th September, 2017 Ms. Aung said “you have to differentiate terrorists from innocents.” She also dismissed the coverage of the Myanmar crisis by calling it “fake news”. The State Counselor of Myanmar has attracted tremendous criticism over the handling of the ongoing crises. She, while defending her government’s stance said “It is a little unreasonable to expect us to solve the issue in 18 months.”
Following the atrocities in Myanmar, an online petition demanding the award committee to revoke Ms. Aung’s Nobel Prize has taken the social media and twitter by storm. Thousands of Youngsters around the world have extended their moral support to the victims in Myanmar on the social media. Some leaders around the world have also condemned this act. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi is not the only controversial Nobel Prize winner as Henry Kissinger was severely criticized for ordering a bomb raid on Honai. ” In 1994, Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the Israeli Foreign Minister were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize regarding the Oslo Peace Accords. The decision of honoring these three gentlemen with the Nobel Prize nevertheless attracted tremendous criticism as the recipients failed to end the Israel- Palestinian conflict. Barack Obama was awarded Nobel Prize in 2009 but later approved bombings in seven countries.
Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi in light of her claims for a need to differentiate the terrorists from innocents must resolve the crisis in Myanmar as soon as possible owing to the loss of human life. Aung San Suu Kyi was once was considered the epitome of democracy after spending 15 years under house arrest. On the contrary she has now disappointed the world owing to her way of handling the crisis. Therefore, one may be impelled to think that the Nobel Peace Prize has just reduced to a symbol of peace with no significance whatsoever. The prize has been belittled by so many laureates, it makes one question the recipients of this award, who in no manner display any sign of wanting “peace”, and miserably fail to live up to any expectations.
Do you believe the Nobel Peace Prize is nothing but a joke?
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