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Myanmar activists cited for Nobel Peace Prize

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The portrait of Alfred Nobel is seen prior to the announcement of the winners of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, on October 5, 2020. (Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP)

The civil disobedience movement that has sprung up in Myanmar since the military coup has been nominated for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize, a Norwegian academic said Friday.

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Kristian Stokke, professor of sociology at the University of Oslo, said the movement represents an exemplary peaceful response to the power grab by Myanmar’s army on February 1.

“The civil disobedience movement is an important mass mobilisation for democracy in Myanmar that is taking place, so far, with non-violent means,” he told AFP.

“This pro-democracy movement, especially if successful, can also have consequences outside Myanmar and inspire other non-violent pro-democracy movements elsewhere at a time when democracy is under pressure from authoritarian forces,” he added.

According to the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners (AAPP), a local monitoring group, 320 people have been killed and nearly 3,000 arrested since the coup that ousted Aung San Suu Kyi — who herself received the prestigious award in 1991.

“What is important and gives a glimmer of hope is that what started as a response to a military coup has become a broader alliance across the many differences, especially ethnic ones, within Burmese society,” Stokke said.

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The Norwegian Nobel Committee only accepts nominations submitted before the 31 January deadline, so the proposal submitted last week by Stokke and five other academics can only be considered for next year’s prize.

Tens of thousands of people, among them parliamentarians and ministers from all countries, former laureates and certain university professors, are eligible to submit a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The committee itself does not disclose who was considered or even nominated other than announcing the winner, though those who submit a nomination can publish it.

The 2021 peace prize winner will be announced on October 8. The World Food Programme (WFP) won last year.

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MyanmarNobel Peace Prize
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