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Secrecy, speculation surrounded prizes STOCKHOLM (SWEDEN) - A Finn who helped mediate peace in Indonesia is tipped to win this year's Nobel Peace Prize, while bookmakers favor a Turkish novelist for the literature award. But in the hyper-secretive world of the panels that have spent much of the year sifting through hundreds of nominations, it's all a guessing game until the announcements start tumbling out onMonday.

Nobel-watchers rely on complex mathematical formulas, statistical calculations and pure instinct to make their predictions, but don't get any hints whatsoever from the awarding institutions in Stockholm and Oslo. The prizes established 111 years ago by Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite, are in the categories of literature, peace, medicine, physics, chemistry and economics.

The latter, many of whose past winners are Americans, is technically not a Nobel but a 1968 creation of Sweden's central bank. Winners get a check of 10 million kronor (US$1.37 million), handshakes with Scandinavian royalty, and a banquet on Dec. 10 - the anniversary of Nobel's death in 1896. All prizes are handed out in Stockholm except for the peace prize, which is presentedin Oslo.

Nobel's instructions were to give the peace prize "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." This year speculation is focused on the Aug. 15, 2005 peace agreement that ended 29 years of fighting between Indonesia's government and separatist rebels in Aceh province, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Betting agency Centrebet of Australia has former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, the mediator of that accord, as the favorite, followed by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the rebels' Free Aceh Movement. A tradition of honoring both sides seeking peace means an Aceh prize would probably be shared.


Related blog entry (category 'General') Related blog entry (category 'General'):
28 September 2006 · Aceh demanding gubernatorial candidates recite Koran


Posted in General @ 30 September 2006 15:37 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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