Friday, December 10, 2010


Later today the Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded to Chinese writer and political dissident Liu Xiaobo (near left).
It will be the 1st time with "no one present to accept the award since 1936."
Liu Xiabo can't attend.
He's in jail in China.
His wife, Liu Xia (far left), can't attend.
China's put her under house arrest.
Many of their friends and family can't attend.
China won't let them leave the country.
At least 18 countries besides China won't attend.
They've acceded to China's call for a boycott.
United Nations leaders Ban Ki-moon and Navi Pillay won't attend. Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, says she's got another engagement on this Human Rights Day. That claim's drawn much criticism, and yesterday, she did demand the prizewinner's release from custody.
China has not let up resistance ever since the prize was announced a few months back. Yesterday, it went so far as to block websites to prevent its people from seeing the ceremony.
In short, the Nobel committee's succeeded in shining a light on how far China is from being an open society -- and how far some leaders will go to try to obscure that fact.
Their efforts no doubt will prove fruitless.
As events of the last weeks show, information will out.
Based on the moving poem published in yesterday's New York Times, the voice of the prizewinner (available in book form soon), is one to reckon with. A sample:

hovering within death
a hovering in drowning
Countless nights behind iron-barred windows
and the graves beneath starlight
have exposed my nightmares

Besides a lie
I own nothing

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