Thursday, April 10, 2008

Maathai Won't Carry Olympic Torch

News24 reports that "Kenya's Nobel Peace laureate Wangari Maathai told AFP on Thursday she had pulled out from the Olympic torch relay in which she was due to take part over the weekend in Tanzania, citing concerns for worldwide human rights."

Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, said "I have decided to show solidarity with other people on the issues of human rights in Sudan's Darfur region, Tibet and Burma."

The torch is on its way to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, as I write here. From Beunos Aires it will travel to Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania. The torch is expected to be in Dar es Salaam on Sunday before leaving the African continent.

Maathai won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. She has since continued her pro-democracy and enviromental conservation work.

Way to go sista.

Meanwhile, South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki has said absolutely nothing about the Olympic torch controversy.

In fact, this land of Mandela has remained consistently duplicitous in its support for economic interests over human rights in China, Burma, Tibet, Australia, and most notoriously, Zimbabwe.

Damn sham, and a shame too!


Dade said...

Good for Wangari!

Ridwan said...

No doubt brother Dade, no doubt for sure!


Shus li said...

I applaud Wangari Maathai for this stand!

What did you think of the mayhem the protesters in San Francisco raised as the torch came through there?

Ridwan said...

Shushli I watched a little of the live coverage and was frustrated by the manner that the IOC and police hid the flame.

Still, it was wonderful to see the folks who came out to raise their voices for human rights.

Peace sista,

Angryindian said...

Good one.

Ridwan said...

Thanks for looking in Angryindian.

Peace brother,

Dione said...

It is really good of her to stand up for what she believes in. It probably wasn't the easiest thing either. We can see she is deserving of her nobel peace prize for sure; as she continues to set a good example.

Ridwan said...

Thanks Dione for your comment. I have heard that Archbishop Tutu is also calling attention to China's human rights policies and its relationship to the Olympics.

I have been a little disappointed in Tutu since I watched him do an advert for Absa Bank here in SAfrica. Absa Bank is owned by Barclays Bank who were financiers of the slave trade. A fact they want the world to forget.

Tutu should know better. There is no place for a man of his stature being so blatantly ignorant, or dismissive, of the slavery past.

Also, why would he sell his image and reputation to Absa.

I guess "we live in a moral" and capitalist universe too.

Be well Dione,