Two Japanese mayors to bag Gautam Buddha Peace Award
The government on Thursday decided to confer the first Gutam Buddha International Peace Award jointly on the mayors of Japanese city of Hiroshima, Dr Tadatoshi Akiba and Nagasaki, Tomihisa Taue, in recognition of their significant contribution to peace and non-violence.
A cabinet meeting held at the Prime Minister´s Office in Singh Durbar took the decision on the recommendation of Gautam Buddha International Peace Award Management and Selection Committee.
The committee is chaired by former UN Assistant Secretary General Kul Chandra Gautam. Dr Bimal Koirala, Ani Choyang Dolma, Urmila Garga and Acharya Karma Syangpo Sherpa are members of the committee.
The award is given every five years to recognize and honor individuals and institutions around the world that have made a significant contribution to peace and nonviolence through the teachings and messages of Lord Buddha.
According to Secretary at Culture Ministry Modraj Dotel, the mayors will be invited to a ceremony to be held in Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha, on the occasion of Buddha Jayanati on May 17. President Dr Ram Baran Yadav will confer the award comprising a gold medal, certificate of award and a cash prize of US $ 50,000 ($25,000 each to the two winners).
A press statement issued by Culture Ministry said the two mayors have lead the “Mayors for Peace” movement involving more than 4,000 municipalities in the world, including two-thirds of all Japanese municipalities. All these mayors have been great advocates of nuclear non-proliferation, reduction of military expenditure and disarmament.
Likewise, the cabinet meeting has also decided to posthumously honor former UN Secretary General U Thant for his contribution in highlighting the importance of Buddha´s teachings for international peace and understanding. Late Thant´s daughter will be invited to Nepal to receive the honor.
Public holiday on Friday only for schools and colleges
The cabinet has also decided to give public holiday to educational institutions on Friday to encourage students´ participation in the inaugural function of Nepal Tourism Year 2011, according to Finance Minister Surendra Pandey. Nepal is officially inaugurating the NTY 2011 on Friday.