11:53 AEDT Sat 1 Nov 2003


Colonel slams Peace Prize choice

Awarding an outspoken Palestinian activist with the Sydney Peace Prize was a betrayal to soldiers in Baghdad, according to a senior Australian Army officer.

The Weekend Australian newspaper reports that Colonel Mike Kelly, who is serving with coalition forces in Iraq, wrote to NSW Premier Bob Carr to ask Dr Hanan Ashrawi not be awarded the prize.

Mr Kelly said in his letter that Dr Ashrawi was an inappropriate choice because she advocated terrorism.

"It is precisely these kinds of legitimising actions that have encouraged the terrorism that I and my colleagues in the Coalition Forces are engaged in fighting," he was reported as writing.

The Sydney Peace Prize jury's choice, which was unanimous, has also drawn heated opposition from the Jewish community.

Dr Ashrawi will give the Sydney Peace Prize Lecture on November 5 and receive the prize from the Premier, Bob Carr, in the NSW Parliament on November 6.

İAAP 2003

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