Nobel ceremony not related to India-China relations

By Sarwar Kashani, IANS
Thursday, December 9, 2010

BRUSSELS - Making it clear that India will attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for dissident Chinese Liu Xiaobo in Oslo despite a request from Beijing to stay away, New Delhi Thursday said the issue was not related to the bilateral relations between the two countries.

As far as the Nobel ceremony, we don’t see it as a bilateral issue, an official source told IANS in the Belgian capital, where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived Thursday for an India-EU business summit.

The source said there was no way India could have missed the ceremony because China wanted so.

We didn’t give him the Nobel prize. It has nothing to do between us and China, he said, adding that India has been attending the Nobel prize ceremonies in the past.

And this time it doesn’t constitute any recognition of who got it or why he or she got it. It is a normal courtesy. We will go as we have in the past. We will do exactly what we did before, he said.

The announcement of India attending the ceremony in Oslo comes days ahead of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arriving in Delhi Dec 15.

Liu is a 55-year-old Chinese literary critic and professor who was given a 11-year jail term last year for having demanded democratic reforms and the end to one-party Communist rule in China.

He was chosen for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. But China protested against the Nobel committee’s decision for awarding a criminal who has been sentenced by Chinese judicial department for violating Chinese law.

Sources said Beijing, in its diplomatic notes, had requested India to stay away from the function on Friday.

India will be represented at the ceremony by its Ambassador in Norway, Bambit Roy.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

will not be displayed