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Liu Xiaobo far more deserving of Nobel than me: Obama

Last Updated: Friday, December 10, 2010 - 19:11

Washington: Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo
is far more deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize than him, US
President Barack Obama said Friday after the former was awarded
the coveted peace prize in absentia.

Obama, who received the Nobel Peace Prize 2009,
regretted that Liu and his wife were denied the opportunity to
attend the ceremony in Oslo today and called on China to
release him.

"One year ago, I was humbled to receive the Nobel
Peace Prize - an award that speaks to our highest aspirations,
and that has been claimed by giants of history and courageous
advocates who have sacrificed for freedom and justice. Liu
Xiaobo is far more deserving of this award than I was," Obama
said in a statement.

"All of us have a responsibility to build a just peace
that recognizes the inherent rights and dignity of human
beings? a truth upheld within the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. In our own lives, our own countries, and in the
world, the pursuit of a just peace remains incomplete, even as
we strive for progress," he said.

Obama said US respects China`s extraordinary
accomplishment in lifting millions out of poverty, and believe
that human rights include the dignity that comes with freedom
from want.

"But Liu reminds us that human dignity also depends
upon the advance of democracy, open society, and the rule of
law," Obama said.

"The values he espouses are universal, his struggle is
peaceful, and he should be released as soon as possible. I
regret that Liu and his wife were denied the opportunity to
attend the ceremony that Michelle and I attended last year,"
Obama said.

This past year saw the release of Nobel Laureate Aung
San Suu Kyi, even as the Burmese people continue to be denied
the democracy that they deserve, Obama said, adding that Nobel
Laureate Jose Ramos Horta has continued his tireless work to
build a free and prosperous East Timor, having made the
transition from dissident to President.

"This past year saw the retirement of Nobel Laureate
Desmond Tutu, whose own career demonstrates the universal
power of freedom and justice to overcome extraordinary
obstacles," he added.

The rights of human beings are universal ? they do not
belong to one nation, region or faith.
America respects the unique culture and traditions of
different countries, Obama asserted.


First Published: Friday, December 10, 2010 - 19:11
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