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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, Jan 14, 2005, 10:00 am ET

    Action Item

    Our ambassador for peace: Viktor Yushchenko

    Highly esteemed Ladies and Gentlemen!
    Dear Colleagues!

    On behalf of the Ukrainian Committee for nominating Viktor Yushchenko for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize we invite to you to show academic and human solidarity with the young Ukrainian democracy and lend individual or institutional support to our initiative by sending your letter of nomination to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee before February 1, 2005.

    The events of the previous year were pivotal to the development of democracy in Ukraine, which in turn is of great import for Europe and the world-at-large. The phenomenon of the Ukrainian Maidan (Independence Square), which was the heart of the Orange Revolution, proposes for the twenty-first century a new format and philosophy of peaceful and lawful solutions for acute political and social crises. In a contemporary form but hearkening back to a spirit foundational for Europe, the social expression manifested on Independence Square in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv re-proposes for European democracy models of ancient Greek popular rule and the dynamic of the Roman Forum. Independence Square saw the peaceful reconciliation of vehemently opposing political forces and a uniting of different sections of society irrespective of nationality, political views and religious confession not seen in Eastern or Western Europe in recent time. The world witnessed the peaceful overthrow of an anti-democratic, oligarchic and criminal regime affected exclusively through democratic means. Since the fall of communism the Orange Revolution constitutes the most striking expression of European democratic values in the former Soviet Union. What happened in Ukraine demonstrates once again that neither the burden of history nor geographical location can in themselves deprive people of the right to free democratic life. Consequently the events in Ukraine resounded far and wide, in Romania, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. This is the achievement of the Ukrainian Revolution whose leader is Viktor Yushchenko.

    Viktor Yushchenko whose father bore the scars of imprisonment in Auschwitz has shown to us all, the citizens of the world, how to address political and social crises. His solution is one without bloodshed, violence or hatred, age-old scourges that continue to plague humanity. He has suggested a path to peace through a new culture of civil and human dialogue with a simple and profound summons: "Peace be with you!"

    Viktor Yushchenko has gathered together not only Ukrainian society but also public figures from all over the world, intellectuals from many countries as well as countless rank-and-file citizens that stood up for democracy and lent their assistance to Ukraine. Tens of thousands of international observers, probably for the first time in history in such impressive numbers, came to monitor Ukrainian presidential elections sacrificing their Christmas vacations in a gesture of strong moral human solidarity. The Ukrainian public multiplied the expressions of solidarity within its own country by launching large-scale initiatives of joint celebrations involving people from different parts of the country at Old-Calendar Christmas as well as by sending books parcels from West to East for St Nicholas' Day and by the people's massive participation in the "We Won't Be Divided!" campaign.

    In authoritarian societies fidelity to democratic values comes at a heavy price: persecution, terror, and the threat of death. Viktor Yushchenko fell prey to a vicious assassination attempt perpetrated through the use of rare laboratory-produced poison. In spite of this, owing to his unrelenting courage and self-sacrifice Yushchenko demonstrated that the human quest for freedom cannot be stopped and that the people will not be deprived of their right to free elections.

    In the course of the last century criminal regimes ruling Ukraine have been responsible for the death of millions of its citizens. Historians now refer to this time in history as to the harvest of sorrow. In recent years endeavours to reanimate the dictatorial rule in Ukraine have been conspicuous. Harsh censorship in the media and economic oppression of the common people on the part of the notorious oligarchic clans has created tremendous tension in Ukrainian society. In the end we found ourselves one step short of a true calamity. In such perilous circumstances Viktor Yushchenko emerged as a compelling champion of peace and social justice whose actions served to prevent the use of force by the authorities.

    Yushchenko's personal stand as well as his appeal to all Ukrainians to "Get up from our knees" have renewed the sense of dignity in the Ukrainian nation, given courage to political leaders, and affected a radical liberalization of the national media.

    At the dawn of the third millennium, millions of Ukrainians gathered in the Independence Square of the capital Kyiv united around Viktor Yushchenko. They embraced a truly novel civic phenomenon, a revolution of hearts and minds. This revolution knows of no geo-political boundaries and has human dignity at its centre, the thirst of people for free democratic life.

    For these reasons we are consider Viktor Yushchenko to be our ambassador of peace and a worthy candidate the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.

    We ask you to lend support to our initiative and forward your letters to the following address:

    Dr. Geir Lundestad
    The Norwegian Nobel Institute
    The Norwegian Nobel Committee,
    Drammensveien 19,
    NO-0255 Oslo Norway

    Relevant information available on www.nobelprize.org/peace/nomination/nominators

    With best regards

    On behalf of a group of nomination initiators among the Ukrainian academic community

    Viacheslav Bryukhovetsky, Rector of the National University "Petro Mohyla Academy" in Kyiv
    www.ukma.kiev.ua

    Ivan Vakarchuk, Rector of the Ivan Franko National University in Lviv
    www.franko.lviv.ua

    Borys Gudziak, Rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University
    www.ucu.lviv.ua

    Maria Zubrytska, Vice-Rector of the Ivan Franko National University in Lviv
    www.franko.lviv.ua

    Uliana Holovach, Vice- Rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University
    www.ucu.lviv.ua

    Olena Haleta, Director of the Centre for Humanities Research of the Lviv National University
    www.humanities.lviv.ua

    Mykhailo Komarnytsky, Director, Litopys Publishers
    www.litopys.lviv.ua

    Iryna Starovoyt, Director of the Centre for the Development of Masters Programmes of the Lviv National University
    www.cfh.lviv.ua

    P.S. We look forward to your queries and comments sent to zubrycka@franko.lviv.ua



    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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