NEWS 2005

 

Campaigners win recognition

 

 

Activists from Canada and Malaysia, a Mexican artist and a group representing Kalahari Bushmen were yesterday named the winners of the Right Livelihood Awards, known as the "alternative Nobels" for promoting justice, fair trade and cultural renewal.

The 2 million crown (Dh942,400) cash prize was shared by Canadian activists Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke, Malaysian opposition leader and rights activist Irene Fernandez and the First People of the Kalahari. Mexican artist Francisco Toledo won the honorary prize.

The awards were founded in 1980 by Jakob von Uexkull, a stamp dealer who sold his collection to fund a programme to recognise work that he believed was ignored by the prestigious Nobel prizes.

The First People of the Kalahari, and its founder Roy Sesana, were recognised "for resolute resistance against eviction from their ancestral lands, and for upholding the right to their traditional way of life".

Sesana set up the group in 1991 to fight for the rights of the Bushmen in Botswana.

Fernandez, a Malaysian opposition leader and rights activist, was honoured for her work to stop violence and abuse against women and migrant workers.

Barlow and Clarke were cited for "their exemplary and longstanding work for free trade justice and the recognition of the fundamental human right to water".

The awards will be presented by Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf in a ceremony at the Swedish parliament one day before the Nobels.

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