His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Norway To Honor Nobel Centennial


Norway To Honor Nobel Centennial

OSLO, Norway, December 19 (AP) -- Norway is inviting the world's Nobel peace laureates to return to Oslo next year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the coveted prize.

Among those invited: Nelson Mandela, F.W. de Klerk, Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, Mikhail Gorbachev, the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Lech Walesa, Henry Kissinger and many other famous names.

``It will have to be the biggest assembly of Nobel peace laureates ever,'' Olav Njoelstad of the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo said Tuesday.

The first Nobel prizes were awarded in 1901. Celebrations are planned leading up to the 2001 prize on Dec. 10, the date the prize's benefactor, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, died in 1896.

Like Tutu in 1984, Mandela and de Klerk won the 1993 prize for their efforts to end apartheid in South Africa. Palestinian leader Arafat shared the 1994 prize with Israeli leaders Peres and the late Yitzhak Rabin for their Middle East peace efforts.

Gorbachev, the last Soviet president, won in 1990 for helping to end the Cold War, while Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, won in 1989 for his struggle on behalf of his people.

Former Secretary of State Kissinger shared the 1973 peace prize with North Vietnam's President Le Duc Tho, who made Nobel history as the only laureate to decline the honor. They were honored for seeking an end to the Vietnam War.

Other laureates invited include David Trimble and John Hume of Northern Ireland, winners in 1998; land mine campaigner Jody Williams, 1997; Filipe Ximenes Belo and Jose Ramos-Horta of East Timor, 1996; Rigoberta Menchu of Guatemala, 1992; Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, then Burma, 1991; and Lech Walesa of Poland, 1983.

The first peace prize went to Red Cross founder Jean Henri Dunant of Switzerland and French peace activist Frederic Passy. This year's prize was awarded to South Korean President Kim Dae-jung.

The peace prize is presented in Oslo, while the other Nobel prizes are awarded in the Swedish capital of Stockholm.


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