Swedes mark fifth anniversary of death of Anna Lindh

Stockholm, SwedenStockholm - The fifth anniversary of the death of former Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh was marked with a low-key ceremony and a seminar Thursday.

Lindh, 46, was fatally stabbed during a visit to a department store in central Stockholm on September 10, 2003, and died early the next day.

Swedish opposition leader Mona Sahlin and other members of the Social Democratic party laid flowers on Lindh's grave.

In an interview with the Dagens Nyheter daily, Sahlin said she still "drew inspiration" from Lindh and her ability to discuss foreign policy in simple terms, often from a people's point of view.

Lindh was sometimes mentioned as a likely future leader of the Social Democrats but Sahlin became the first female leader of the party in 2007, succeeding veteran Goran Persson.

Former Swedish foreign minister Jan Eliasson, chair of the Anna Lindh Prize committee, also attended the ceremony before heading off for a seminar at the Swedish Institute of Foreign Affairs on Lindh and the European Union's role during the 2001 Macedonian crisis.

The committee awards an annual prize, worth 250,000 kronor (41,000 dollars), created as a tribute to Lindh.

The 2008 prize was awarded to Khin Ohmar of Myanmar, a former student activist, who has lived in exile for the past 20 years and is currently based in Thailand where she is active in the Burma Partnership that mobilizes people's organizations and promotes democracy.

The murder of Lindh as well as the 1986 killing of the late Swedish premier Olof Palme had caused a "deep trauma" for Sweden, Eliasson told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Tommy Moller, political science professor at Stockholm University, said Lindh was a gifted speaker who managed to combine strong views with a practical approach. (dpa)