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PEACE

Nobel Peace chair Kullmann dies of cancer at 65

Kaci Kullmann Five, the chairwoman of the committee which selects the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has died aged 65 after a long illness, the organisation said on Monday.

Nobel Peace chair Kullmann dies of cancer at 65
Kaci Kullmann Five lectures on last years' 2016 award to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. Photo: Torstein Boe/NTB scanpix
Kullmann was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 and underwent treatment. But her condition worsened, and she was forced to cancel several appearances last year.
   
“She was a role model for many young women,” Norway's Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg wrote on Facebook.
   
Kullmann became a member of the Norwegian Nobel committee in 2003, and was elected chair in 2015.
   
She was among the decision makers who honoured former US vice president Al Gore (2007), former US president Barack Obama (2009), Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (2010), and Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi (2003).
   
The former businesswoman served as trade and shipping minister between 1989-1990 and was the leader of the Conservative Party between 1991-1994.    
 
“We have lost a strong and warm person and one of the most prominent and pioneering former leaders of (the Conservative Party),” Solberg wrote. “My thoughts are with Kaci's family. Many of us … are thinking of them,” she added.
   
The daughter of a Norwegian dentist, Kullmann was born in an Oslo suburb on April 13, 1951.
   
Kullmann was married to Carsten O. Five, a former finance magazine editor, and had two children. She died on Sunday.

NOBEL

‘No question’ of stripping Suu Kyi of Nobel Peace Prize: Norway committee

Norway's Nobel Institute said Wednesday it had no intention of withdrawing its Peace Prize from Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi after a damning UN report termed the treatment of the Rohingya people as "genocide."

'No question' of stripping Suu Kyi of Nobel Peace Prize:  Norway committee
Aung San Suu Kyi's husband Michael Aris and their sons Kim and Alexander Aris accept her Nobel Prize for her in 1991. Photo: Bjørn Sigurdsøn/NTB Scapix
“There is no question of the Nobel Committee withdrawing the peace prize,” director Olav Njolstad said. “The rules of the Nobel Peace Prize do not allow it,” he added.
   
A UN probe released Monday detailed evidence of genocide and crimes against humanity “perpetrated on a massive scale” against the Rohingya, including acts of rape, sexual violence and mass killings. 
   
At a UN Security Council session on Tuesday, a number of countries — including the United States, Britain, France and Sweden — called for Myanmar's military leaders to be held accountable. 
   
Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 when she was detained by the military for championing democracy and human rights.
   
She was only allowed to leave Myanmar to recieve the award 21 years later as the military apparently eased its iron grip on the country.
   
As the Rohingya crisis has deepened in the past year with the flight of hundreds of thousands to neighbouring Bangladesh, Suu Kyi has come under increasing international pressure to speak out about their plight.
   
So far however she has said very little and steadfastly avoided any critical comment of Myanmar's military.
   
The Nobel Peace Prize committee had warned last year about the worsening situation in Myanmar and had urged all parties to do “everything possible to end discrimination against and persecution of minorities.”
   
Njolstad repeated that statement, adding: “This call is not any less timely after the UN report.”
   
The Myanmar government on Wednesday bluntly rejected the UN's findings.
   
“We didn't allow the (UN Fact-Finding Mission) to enter into Myanmar, that's why we don't agree and accept any resolutions made by the Human Rights Council,” government spokesman Zaw Htay said, according to the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper. 
   
He pointed to the formation of Myanmar's own Independent Commission of Enquiry, which he said was set up to respond to “false allegations made by UN agencies and other international communities.”