Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Who is dropping out of the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony?

Because this year's Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaobo, still in prison in China (when will Wikileaks publish any documents from the Chinese Foreign Ministry?) there is a certain amount of trouble about attendance at the ceremony this Friday. For one thing the actual recipient will not be present but that will not be for the first time in the history of the award.

China is gleefully telling the world that most countries are staying away. Actually, only 65 countries were invited to send their representatives, these being the ones with embassies in Oslo. Of these 44 have accepted but 19 have foound that all their representatives have prior engagements.

The Christian Science Monitor not only lists them but gives helpful paragraphs that explain why the country in question should be particularly anxious not to upset the Chinese government. It seems that after some deliberation, India has decided to accept the invitation, despite the forthcoming state visit to India by the Chinese Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao.

The Toy Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg is less than completely forthcoming in its support for Liu Xiaobo. There is a certain falling out between the thieves MEPs. The Green/EFA co-leader, Daniel Cohn-Bendit of old extreme left-wing revolutionary fame, has accused the two main groups, EPP and the Social-Democrats, of silence on the subject and not expressing any support for Liu Xiaobo. It is not clear at this stage whether Baroness Ashton the hapless and ridiculous Head Honcho of EU foreign affairs will attend.

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