Even elected leaders have to respect rights: Ebadi

The Nation - Sunday, April 10, 2005

First, human rights are fundamental to democracy. Second, even elected leaders who are voted to by the people cannot ignore the right of minorities.

Ebadi noted that many of the world’s dictators – including Adof Hitler – had been elected by the people.

She said majority – Islam nations must observe the rights of minorities such as Christians while majority- Buddhist nations must observe the rights of minority Muslims. “This is how we can have sustainable peace.”

The Nobel laureate will also hold a closed-door dialogue today with Thai rights advocates on the topic of “Defending the Rights of Women and Children”, hosted by Forum Asia and the Peace and Culture Foundation.

The Chairman of the advisory board of Bridge: Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace is Privy Councillor General Surayud Chulanont. The main sponsors are Kasikornbank, BMW, Dusit Thani Hotel and Ogilvy & Mother.