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Buddha peace award distribution today

  Two Japanese mayors already in Lumbini to receive honour

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

KATHMANDU: The first Gautam Buddha International Peace Award (GBIPA) will be distributed tomorrow in Lumbini, the birth place of Gautam Buddha, on the occasion of the 2555th Buddha Jayanti.

Two Japanese mayors, the winners of the award, have already arrived in Nepal to receive the honour. Both winners Dr Tadatoshi Akiba (69) of Hiroshima and Tomihisa Taue (55) of Nagasaki arrived here at 2:00 pm today, according to the Ministry of Federal Affairs, Constituent Assembly, Parliamentary Affairs and Culture (MoFACAPAC). “They left Kathmandu for Lumbini today,” said government officials.

The award distribution ceremony that will run from 9:00 am to 11:00 am tomorrow.

President Dr Ram Baran Yadav will present the award of $50,000. Vice President Paramananda Jha, Culture Minister Khagendra Prasad Prasai and other senior government officials, among others, will attend the ceremony.

Each of the winners will receive a purse of $25,000, medals and honorary certificates, said Rishi Kesh Niraula, under secretary at MoFACAPAC. “A reception banquet will be held for the winners at Basantapur in Kathmandu on May 18.”

The two Japanese mayors were chosen to be honoured with the award recognising their contribution to peace and humanity following Buddha’s teachings after the devastation of World War II in Japan.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were completely ravaged by atom bombs during the war in August 1945, nearly 200,000 people were killed. Thousands of Japanese were affected for many years. Advocating human rights, the two mayors had worked to restore peace and prosperity in the country.

They are known as leaders of the ‘Mayors of Peace’ movement that has involved over 4,000 municipalities in the world. The movement has been advocating nuclear non-proliferation, military reduction and disarmament to establish peace as a mission of global solidarity. The Gautam Buddha International Peace Award was set up by the Government of Nepal to honour persons and organisations working for peace, Buddhism and human rights.

The government conceived the GBIPA plan in 1998 and set up the award in 2002. It will be distributed every five years.

Comments1

On the auspicious Birth-Day-2555 of Buddha- Lord Buddha, Buddhism and its Pervasiveness in the world By Dirgha Raj Prasai Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini in the 6th century BC in mid Tarai, Nepal. Nepal has been a pious and holy land for all Buddhists as well as all kinds of religious men and women. Buddha has guided human society on the path of peace, non-violence and prosperous thinking. Gautam Buddha meditated at Sarnath-Banarash and acquired the Light of Knowledge (Mokchya) under the holy fig-tree at Gaya, which is now called Buddha Gaya. A Nepalese scholar Rupesh Shrestha writes-The term Buddha means “Enlightened One”, and signifies that the person to whom it is applied has solved the riddle of existence, and discovered the doctrine for the cessation of misery. Lord Buddha propounded Hinayana, a simple religion in which he followed to a large extent. This was a direct and simple philosophy that appealed to the masses. Geographically, historically and politically, Nepal occupies a position in between two great empires of India and China and has drunk deeply from the two culturally rich springs, drawing inspirations from both its grand neighbors, as the political current ebbed or flowed - an influence clearly illustrated in the building styles of Nepal. In addition, there is the religious, cultural and philosophical effect of that great tide of Buddhism, which swept through the continent of Asia. The descriptions of famous ancient Chinese pilgrims, Huian Tsang (who traveled through India between AD 629 Dirgha Raj Prasai, Kathmandu, Nepal

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