7 Oct 2005. Nobel Prize panels announce laureates women power honored?

OSLO. 7 Oct 2005. The Nobel committees announce the winners of the annual prizes in October. The most eagerly anticipated announcement is the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and women will triumph for a third year in a row if the organization, 1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005, gets full value from its promotional efforts.

The organization has nominated 1000 women to collect the prize on behalf of the millions of women from all walks of like who devote themselves to a future free of violence. According to the group, women’s work is taken for granted and neither acknowledged nor remunerated. Making their point, they say that all but 12 of the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize since it was first awarded in 1901 have been men.

In 2004 the prize went to Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai, and the year before to Iranian activist Shirin Ebadi.

Rebiya Kadeer, a prisoner of conscience in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, also known as East Turkistan, in China, also has a chance of bringing the prize home for women. She is a prominent symbol of the Uyghurs' struggle for basic human rights.

Other early nominees include Ukraine’s newly elected president, Viktor Yushchenko, who led a peaceful change of government in his country in 2004, and Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili. The Georgian was elected president on 4 Jan 2004 after a "velvet revolution" ousted Eduard Shevardnadze.

Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli who was imprisoned as a traitor by Israel for 18 years for blowing the whistle about that country’s nuclear program, will be nominated again. His nominee, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Ireland announced in December that Vanunu has "paid a heavy price in order to protect us all from nuclear weapons." Vanunu has been nominated for the prize every year since 1989.

Former Governor George Ryan in the United States was nominated for his opposition to the death penalty in his state, and for taking some 100 prisoners off the execution list. His chances have dipped to almost zero. The 71-year-old stands accused in federal court of doling out big-money state contracts and leases to political insiders. He has been charged in a 22-count indictment with racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud, lying to the FBI and tax fraud.

The aid agency, Save the Children, Former Czech president Vaclav Havel, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Afghan leader Hamid Karzai, former US Defense Secretary Colin Powell and US President George W. Bush are also likely to be nominees.

As tradition dictates, the Nobel Institute never reveals the identities of the candidates who were nominated by the January deadline. However, those entitled to submit nominations for the prize -- including past laureates, members of parliament and cabinet ministers from around the world and some university professors -- are allowed to disclose their suggestions.

The Peace prize is awarded in Oslo on Dec 10. The Nobel prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine and Literature, which also are announced in the early part of October, are awarded on Dec 10 in Stockholm. The December date is the anniversary of the death of the creator of the prizes, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel. UPDATED Sep/05