The Sydney Peace Foundation has chosen left-wing intellectual Noam Chomsky as the winner of the 2011 Sydney Peace Prize.
Chomsky, a leader in the field of linguistics before turning his hand to international affairs, has been a prolific writer of stinging critique of US foreign policy,
'Professor Chomsky is one of the West's most influential intellectuals in the cause of peace, the most significant challenger of unjust power' Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation, Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation Professor Stuart Rees said.
'This inspiring choice comes at a time of violence and protest around the world. Across the Middle East brave people challenge authoritarian rule, yearn for freedom and for a state of their own. Yet, in Australia, leading politicians are still to find the courage to craft policies, such as those affecting refugees and asylum seekers, which reflect the hopes and standards set by Chomsky's life and work.'
Chomsky is a polarising choice for the institute, following hot on the heels of the Foundation handing its Sydney Peace Medal to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
Most recently, Chomsky angered countless Americans with his reaction to the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
'We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush's compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic', Chomsky mused.
Previous winners include South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, UN weapons inspector Hans Blix and Indian novelist Arundhati Roy.