Nobel Peace Prize Current Affairs

China’s Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo passes away

China’s most famous political prisoner, the Nobel laureate and democracy icon Liu Xiaobo passed away in custody following a battle with cancer. He was 61.

Liu was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.

About Liu Xiaobo

Liu was a Chinese literary critic, writer, human rights activist who called for political reforms and end of communist single-party rule. He is also known for his role in 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing.

Liu was arrested in 2008 after co-writing Charter 08, a bold petition that called for the protection of basic human rights and reform of China’s political system. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison in December 2009 on the charges of subversion.

During his fourth prison term, he was awarded 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. He was first Chinese citizen to be awarded a Nobel Prize of any kind while residing in China. At the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony held in Oslo in 2010 he was represented by an empty chair.

Note: Liu is the third person to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while in prison or detention, after Germany’s Carl von Ossietzky (1935) and Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi (1991). He was also the second Nobel Peace laureate died in custody (first being Ossietzky who died in a Nazi concentration camp).

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2016 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

The 2016 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. He was selected for the prestigious award by the Norwegian Nobel Committee for his resolute efforts to bring the more than 50-year-long civil war of Colombia to an end.

He is second Colombian to win Nobel Prize after writer Gabriel Gracia Marquez who had won the literature Prize in 1982.

Santos is also second Latin American to receive Nobel Peace Prize after Guatemala’s Rigoberta Menchu had won it in 1992.

Peace Agreement

Manuel Santos had initiated the negotiations with the guerrilla (rebel) group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). These negotiations had culminated into a peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas. However in October 2016, the peace deal was rejected by a narrow majority by the Colombians when it was put to referendum.

About Juan Manuel Santos

  • Born on 10 August 1951 in Bogota, capital city of Colombia.
  • He was elected Colombian President for first time in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014.
  • Earlier he had served as defence minister from 2006 until 2009

Background

  • The civil war in Colombia is one of the longest civil wars in modern times and the sole remaining armed conflict in the South America.
  • The five decade long civil war has cost the lives of at least 220 000 Colombians and displaced close to six million people.
  • It was started in the 1960s as a rural uprising for land rights by FARC as communist-inspired guerrilla movement.
  • The main aim of FARC was to reduce the gulf dividing rich and poor and land reform for equality in the Andean country.
  • The conflict has drawn in various leftist rebel groups, drug gangs and right-wing paramilitaries over the decades.
  • However in recent times, the FARC had shifted from their original ideology and were active in illegal drug trade, kidnapping and extortion activities.

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