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Peaceful revolt needed in Arab world: Tawakkol Karman

India,Politics,Immigration/Law/Rights, Thu, 05 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 5 (IANS) Yemenese Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman Thursday said only a peaceful revolution could finish authoritarian rule in the Arab world.

 

"Every dictator is a terrorist. Both feed on each other. Only a peaceful revolution can finish them," said Karman while delivering the fifth Babu Jagjivan Ram memorial lecture here.

 

Karman, 33, won the Nobel peace prize in 2011 and is the youngest recipient of the prestigious award.

 

Stating that the youth in the Arab world came out on the streets to protest against the dictatorial regimes, she appealed to the young people to join the government after the polls in her country.

 

Noting that all sections of society participated in the Arab spring, Karman said the new government in Yemen would provide equal citizenship to all.

 

"Dignity and freedom are equal to democracy," said Karman adding: "The Arab spring came as a response to the need for a life of dignity and equality by the local youth."

 

Mentioning Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. as world leaders who inspired her, she said: "Gandhi inspired peace struggles the world over. The youth who participated in the Arab spring too were inspired by his teachings."

 

 

Dismissing rumours spread by the ruling establishments in the Arab countries that their removal would only worsen the situation, Karman said believing in such falsehood would only prolong dictators' rule.

 

Karman also appealed to the international community to exert pressure on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as people in Syria were looking for equal citizenship.

 

According to Karman, the common factor in the Arab spring was that citizens were denied freedom by the ruling establishments and the dictatorial regimes over the past many decades.

 

"We were made to believe that these rulers would remain in power and it would be difficult to remove them from power," she said adding that the peaceful protests in the Arab world emanated due to internal conditions and not external factors, as claimed by the regimes.

 

"Imposing reform from outside is not practical," said Karman.

 


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