Friday, December 10, 2010

Liu Xiaobo - Nobel Peace Laureate


For Immediate Release
October 9, 2010
Contact: Genie Giao Nguyên


Washington, DC: Sharing with our Chinese friends the excitement, hope, and faith in an enduring fighting spirit for human rights and democracy, Voice of Vietnamese Americans congratulates Dr. Liu Xiaobo on being awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

Being the first Chinese to ever win the Nobel Prize, Dr. Liu has brought honor to his country. Being named the winner for the Peace Prize while in prison, Dr. Liu has brought hope to his people. Vietnamese Americans admire Dr. Liu’s courage and steadfast conviction to the noblest cause of all people: human rights.

If the peaceful protest at Tiananmen Square in 1989 resulted in a crushed dream, Charter 8 issued in 2009, twenty years after, proclaimed to the world that the will of the Chinese People led by Dr. Liu Xiaobo has overcome great challenges. While physically being imprisoned, Dr. Liu’s fighting spirit has received international recognition and support.

Human Rights are universal. Dr. Liu’s “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China” also represents the will of mankind against oppression.

Never before has our world faced such overwhelming threats from the instability caused by the rising power of China in the expenses of its own people and its neighboring countries. Voice of Vietnamese Americans sincerely thanks the Norwegian Nobel Committee for recognizing the leadership role of Dr. Liu Xiaobo in establishing a globally sustainable peace by asserting human rights and democracy in mainland China.

Voice of Vietnamese Americans strongly recommends that Chairman Hu Jintao of the Communist Party of China, President of the People’s Republic of China, takes pride in having Dr. Liu brought home the world’s highest honor by showing respect to Charter 8, immediately releasing Dr. Liu, and conforming to the United Nations Declarations of Human Rights that China has signed on as a member.


Voice of Vietnamese Americans is a non-profit organization with the mission of empowering Vietnamese Americans by promoting civic engagement, community organizing, capacity building. Established in 2009, Voice of Vietnamese Americans is serving the communities in Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, with liaisons in California and Texas.


Thông cáo báo chí
Ngày 09/10/2010
Xin phổ biến ngay
Liên Lạc: Genie Nguyên


Hoa Thịnh Đốn: Chia sẻ niềm phấn khởi, hy vọng, và tin tưởng vào tinh thần tranh đấu bền bỉ cho tự do, dân chủ, và nhân quyền của dân tộc Trung Hoa, Tiếng Nói Người Mỹ gốc Việt trân trọng chúc mừng Tiến Sĩ Liu Xiaobo đã được vinh danh với giải thưởng Nobel Hòa Bình 2010.

Là người Hoa đầu tiên nhận giải Nobel Hòa Bình, Tiến Sĩ Liu Xiaobo đã mang lại vinh dự cho đất nước ông. Là người được vinh danh với giải Nobel về Hòa Bình trong lúc đang bị giam cầm, Tiến Sĩ Liu Xiaobo đã mang lại hy vọng cho dân tộc ông. Người Mỹ gốc Việt chúng tôi kính phục lòng can đảm và sự quyết tâm của ông trong việc tranh đấu cho lý tưởng cao đẹp nhất của loài người: Bảo vệ Nhân Quyền.

Nếu sự phản đối bất bạo động tại Thiên An Môn năm 1989 có hậu quả là chính quyền Trung Cộng thẳng tay đập nát giấc mơ dân chủ, nhân quyền, thì Hiến Chương 08 ra đời năm 2009, hai mươi năm sau, tuyên bố với thế giới quyết tâm tranh đấu cho dân chủ, nhân quyền của dân tộc Hoa dưới sự lãnh đạo của Tiến Sĩ Liu đã vượt qua nhiều thử thách cam go. Tuy thể xác bị giam cầm trong ngục tối, tinh thần tranh đấu bất khuất của ông đã được thế giới ngưỡng mộ và hỗ trợ.

Nhân quyền là quyền căn bản của tất cả mọi con người trong hoàn vũ. Sự “tranh đấu bền bỉ và bất bạo động của Tiến Sĩ Liu cho các quyền làm người căn bản tại Trung Hoa” cũng nói lên quyết tâm tranh đấu của loài người trước mọi đàn áp.

Cho đến hôm nay, thế giới chúng ta chưa bao giờ phải trực diện với nỗi đe dọa quá lớn từ những bất ổn tạo ra bởi thế lực đang lên của Trung Cộng, đạt đến từ những bóc lột, bất công, chèn ép trên chính dân tộc Hoa và các nước láng gièng. Tiếng Nói Người Mỹ gốc Việt chân thành cảm tạ Hội Đồng chấm giải Nobel tại Na Uy đã vinh danh vai trò lãnh đạo của Tiến Sĩ Liu Xiaobo trong việc tạo dựng một nền hòa bình bền vững cho thế giới bằng cách tranh đấu cho dân chủ, nhân quyền ngay tại Trung Hoa Lục Địa.

Tiếng Nói Người Mỹ gốc Việt thúc giục Chủ Tịch Hồ Cẩm Đào của Đảng Cộng Sản Trung Quốc, đương kim Tổng Thống nước Cộng Hòa Nhân Dân Trung Hoa, hãy trân trọng niềm hãnh diện cao quý nhất thế giới mà Tiến Sĩ Liu Xiaobo mang về cho dân tộc, bằng cách kính trọng Hiến Chương 8, trả tự do ngay tức khắc cho Tiến Sĩ Liu, và tuân thủ bản Tuyên Ngôn Quốc Tế Nhân Quyền của Liên Hiệp Quốc, mà Trung Hoa là một thành viên.


Tiếng Nói Người Mỹ gốc Việt là một hội thiện nguyện với chủ trương tăng sức mạnh cho người Mỹ gốc Việt bằng cách cổ động cho các đóng góp, xây dựng, tổ chức, và làm tăng tiềm năng của cộng đồng Mỹ gốc Việt. Thành lập năm 2009, Tiếng Nói Người Mỹ gốc Việt phục vụ cho cộng đồng tại Virginia, Maryland, Hoa Thịnh Đốn, với đại diện tại California và Texas.


The Nobel chairman calls for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo's release from prison, and compares him to Nelson Mandela.
Source: Reuters Link to this video

It was not a special chair. Like the six others next to it on the dais in the cavernous central assembly room of Oslo's city hall, its frame was of plain varnished hardwood and its fabric of powder blue, white cross-stitches picking out a delicate pattern of flowers and stars and, across the back, three swans flying against a snowy sky.

Unlike its neighbours, though, which held the solid, smartly turned-out forms of the chairman and members of the Norwegian Nobel committee, it stayed empty. For the first time since 1936, the Nobel peace prize could not be presented today either to its laureate or, as the prize rules require, to a close relative.

"No medal or diploma will be presented today," the committee's chairman, Thorbjorn Jagland, began, opening a simple ceremony of music and readings during which the 1,000-strong audience of diplomats, dissidents-in-exile and Norway's great and good several times climbed to their feet in prolonged applause. "But this fact alone shows that the award was necessary and appropriate. We congratulate Liu Xiaobo on this year's peace prize."

Nominated for his "long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in China", Liu, a 54-year-old critic and writer, is serving an 11-year prison sentence for inciting subversion after coauthoring Charter 08, an appeal for democratic reform. His wife, Liu Xia, has been under house arrest since the award was announced last month.

Despite China's fury at the decision, which it branded an insult to the peace prize, and warnings of "consequences" for nations that attended, some 50 of the 65 embassies in Oslo were represented today. Several, including Serbia, Ukraine and the Philippines, which had said they would stay away, appeared to have been persuaded to change their minds.

Arguing that the connections between freedom of expression, democracy and peace were now proven, Jagland said China's treatment of Liu showed that despite its astonishing economic success, for which "it must be given credit", Beijing must learn to take criticism. Articles 35 and 41 of China's own constitution, he noted, allow citizens "freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association" as well as "the right to criticise and make suggestions regarding any state organ or functionary". To some degree, he said, China's size and economic might mean it is "carrying the fate of mankind on its shoulders".

Standing beside a blown-up portrait of a bespectacled and smiling Liu, Jagland added: "Many will ask whether China's weakness – for all the strength it is currently showing – is not manifested in the need to imprison a man for 11 years merely for expressing his opinions on how his country should be governed."

Liu, he said to sustained clapping, "has exercised his civil rights. He has done nothing wrong. He must be released."

At the end of his speech, he announced that since neither the Nobel diploma nor the winner's medal could be presented, he would "place them on the empty chair". Embossed in gold with the letters LXB, they stayed there for the remainder of the hour-long ceremony.

Outside, queuing in temperatures of -8C before the event, guests – who included the speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and a house foreign affairs committee member, Chris Smith – were entertained by the Oslo police band playing, perhaps incongruously, Yuletide favourites: Jingle Bells, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. Less tunefully, but equally volubly, a small group of Chinese pro-democracy campaigners from countries as far-flung as Hong Kong and Australia chanted "Free Liu Xiaobo now" and "Democracy for China". There was no sign of a pro-China demonstration reportedly called by the Chinese embassy in Oslo.

Today was, said Li Qing Feng, a 50-year-old scientist from Copenhagen, "a very, very important day. Maybe not in the short term; you only have to look at the authorities' reaction to this to see their stupidity. That won't vanish overnight. But long-term, I think we will look back and say, this was the day progress and democracy in China really took a step forward."

The prize has on occasion been collected by laureates' family members. Soviet scientist Andrei Sakharov's diploma, medal and cheque – the prize today is worth £1m – were presented to his wife, Elena. Solidarity leader Lech Walesa's wife, Danuta, performed the same role. In 1991, it was Aung San Suu Kyi's son.

But the only other time no one has been able to collect it was in 1936, when the German pacifist and journalist Carl von Ossietzky won the award. Hitler had banned any German national from accepting a Nobel prize, and despite courageously letting it be known from his hospital bed that he would defy the führer if he could, Von Ossietzky died 18 months later aged 48.

The actor Liv Ullmann read the moving address made by Liu to the court that tried him for subversion last year. The former literature professor, who has dedicated the award to the "lost souls" of the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising, told his judges on 23 December 2009 that he had no hatred for the police who arrested him, the prison officers who guarded him, or those who would sentence him.

"Hatred can rot away at a person's intelligence and conscience," he said. "The enemy mentality will poison the spirit of a nation, incite cruel mortal struggles, destroy a society's tolerance and humanity, and hinder a nation's progress towards freedom and democracy."

He remained hopeful: "I, filled with optimism, look forward to the advent of a future, free China. For there is no force that can put an end to the human quest for freedom, and China will in the end become a nation ruled by law, where human rights reign supreme."

The most emotional passages of the address were addressed to his wife. "Your love is the sunlight that leaps over high walls … stroking every inch of my skin, warming every cell of my body," Ullmann read, "allowing me always to keep peace, openness and brightness in my heart, and filling every minute of my time in prison with meaning."

Yu Zhang, Stockholm-based coordinator of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre, had a tear in his eye at that. "I met Liu twice," he said after the ceremony. "We had dinner twice together. But we spoke by email almost daily. He is honest, tolerant, and understanding – a fine man, and a good friend. And he's one hell of a defender of human rights. You'll see, this is a big, big day – an important day. Not now, but in years to come."


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