Rebiya Kadeer is a separatist and has no qualifications to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, a senior Party official in Xinjiang said yesterday.
"To call Rebiya (Kadeer) the 'mother of all Uygurs' is absolutely preposterous and... tantamount to defaming an ethnic minority," China News Service quoted Nuer Baikeli, vice-secretary of the Communist Party Committee of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, as having told a meeting in Urumqi on Sunday.
As a mother she could not even educate her own children properly, Baikeli said. Hence, "it's beyond imagination that she could become the 'mother' of all Uygurs who have a population of about 10 million".
"The separatist activities and comments of Rebiya (now living in the United States) clearly show that she wants to destroy the peace and stability of Chinese society. Those actions do not conform to the requirements of the Nobel Peace Prize," Nuer Baikeli said at the meeting of publicity chiefs.
A netizen has written to China News Service, saying it's against the very principle of the Nobel Peace Prize to nominate a person who tries to divide a country and foments violence. Rebiya is a "separatist monster", he wrote.
The 56-year-old Rebiya was detained in 1999 for posing a threat to national security, and was sentenced to eight years in prison for providing State secrets to overseas organizations.
She, however, was allowed to go the US for medical treatment in March 2005 after promising to keep away from any separatist activities.
She was found to be involved in trafficking of drugs and money laundering, too.
But the most damaging charge against her was brought in by Xinjiang officials. She was accused of being engaged in activities to topple the central government and seek Xinjiang's "independence" from China through "violent terrorist activities," China News Service said.
Another netizen questioned the motive of the US in his posting on Sina.com.cn, saying the Washington harbors "ill motives" or else it would not have backed the Nobel Peace Prize nomination of a person trying to overthrow the government.
Rebiya Kadeer was born in Xinjiang in 1951. She began running a small business in Urumqi after the country implemented the economic reform in the late 1970s. She gradually built her fortune, said to be worth of up to a billion yuan, to become one of the wealthiest women in Xinjiang.
Investigations have found the company, registered under her and her children's names, avoided paying taxes from 1994 and 2004, which cumulatively amounted to more than 8 million yuan ($1 million).
Source: China Daily