Has Nobel Peace Prize been discredited?

The celebrated Nobel Peace Prize has often been controversial, but the 1991 award to Aun San Suu Kyi threatens to tarnish its legacy.

Since 1901, 585 Nobel prizes have been presented to 923 outstanding achievers drawn from the arts, sciences and politics. But of all the Nobel categories it is the Peace Prize that is the most celebrated. While some peace laureates like Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev and Muhammad Yunus have received almost unanimous approval, others, like Henry Kissinger, Barack Obama and Malala Yousafzai have attracted derision for being totally inappropriate or ludicrously early.

But the furor over the 1991 award to Aun San Suu Kyi has dwarfed all others because, whether through omission or commission, she presides over the massacre and ethnic cleansing of Myanmar's Muslim population. Around the world, calls grow for Aun San Suu Kyi, the former darling of the West, to be stripped of her award, but the Nobel committee says there is no mechanism for doing this.

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