Hiroshima Nobel summit closes without Liu statement

Last Updated: Sunday, November 14, 2010 - 22:14

Hiroshima: The Dalai Lama and other Nobel
Peace laureates ended a Hiroshima meeting on Sunday by calling for
a nuclear-free world but made no statement on this year`s
winner, Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

The failure to mention Liu sparked discord at the
annual World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, which had
earlier greeted yesterday`s release from house arrest of
another winner, Myanmar`s democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
"I feel I need to say something," the 1997 winner Jody
Williams said at a joint news conference of the laureates,
including the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader and former South
African president F W de Klerk.

"We also have to recognise another," said Williams of
the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. "One of our Nobel
Peace colleagues is imprisoned."

"We cannot be silent in the face of pressure from the
Chinese government."

"Liu Xiaobo is not forgotten. We will work as
diligently for his release as we have for that of our sister
Aung San Suu Kyi."

Former Chinese student leader Wu`er Kaixi, who was
involved in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, joined the
summit of six Nobel winners and earlier urged China to
"release Liu Xiaobo immediately and unconditionally".

The Dalai Lama welcomed the choice of Liu for the

An organising source said the laureates had earlier
approved a draft statement on Liu, but decided not to release
it "out of respect" for the host city`s position, which wanted
to keep the focus on nuclear weapons.

De Klerk, who shared the 1993 prize with Nelson
Mandela, said "the main focus of this conference was on the
abolition of nuclear arms and we didn`t want to take the
spotlight away from the main issue."

Asked at the press conference if there had been any
pressure to drop a statement on Liu, de Klerk said: "To the
best of my knowledge, none of us have been pressurised in any
way or anybody."

The Nobel laureates, after meeting for three days in
the city destroyed in the world`s first atomic bombing in
1945, today issued their Hiroshima Declaration on the
Abolition of Nuclear Weapons.

"Nuclear deterrence, power projection and national
prestige as arguments to justify acquiring and retaining
nuclear weapons are totally outdated and must be rejected,"
the declaration said.


First Published: Sunday, November 14, 2010 - 22:14
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