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    » 03/01/2012, 00.00

    JAPAN

    Guatemalan Rosalina Velasquez Tuyuc awarded 29th Niwano Peace Prize



    Activist for human rights, especially for the defense of Mayan people and traditions. Dedicated her cultural and political activities in particular to exploitation of and violence against women and promoting reconciliation in her country.

    Tokyo (AsiaNews) - Guatemalan Rosalina Tuyuc Velasquez is the winner of the 29th Niwano Peace Prize.

    Rosalina Tuyuc Velasquez, 55, is an activist for human rights, especially for the defense of Maya traditions. President in her youth of the Catholic Masculine and Feminine Labor Action of San Juan Comalapa, her hometown lies in the mountains of central Guatemala, where they still speak Kakchiquel, a Mayan dialect.

    This years' winner has dedicated her award to the cultural and political defense and promotion of the descendants of this ancient people. Author of numerous publications, dedicated in particular to the exploitation of and violence against women, Tuyuc Velasquez was also the founder of Instance of Mayan Unity and Advise (IUCM), Vice President of the Parliamentary Commission for the indigenous communities, president of the Parliamentary Commission for Women, Children and Families, co-founder of the Association of Maya women in Guatemala politics, a member of the National Commission for the peace agreements.

    In the statement outlining the choice of Tuyuc Velasquez, the Niwano Foundation highlights that this is the first time a defender of indigenous religious traditions has been awarded. "In Guatemala, the indigenous population was systematically excluded", the "wisdom of the traditional faith has been ignored" and "women have been victims of many forms of violence (including sexual and economic), racism and discrimination. But at the same time they are a source strength and determination. Rosalina Tuyuc Velasquez shows the path towards a more just future free of discrimination and for a new culture of peace ".
    The award is given by the Niwano Niwano Peace Foundation was founded in 1978 to help build a peaceful world in fields such as religion, philosophy, culture, science. Thanks to donations of billions of yen, the foundation organizes cultural activities and international exchanges.

    The Foundation is related to the work of Nikkyo Niwano, an important figure of Japanese spirituality, who in 1938 founded the lay Buddhist organization Rissho Kosei Kai. The movement aims at a renewal of the teaching of Buddhism and combines deep spirituality, social work, promoting peace and dialogue between religions. Among the past winners are the Brazilian Archbishop Helder Camara, secretary of the World Council of Churches Pastor Philip A. Potter, Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns, the village Neve Shalom-founded by Palestinians and Israeli and Jordanian Prince El Hassan bin Talal, sponsor of the Letter of 138 Muslim scholars to the Pope

    The award ceremony will be held in Tokyo on May 10. Rosalina Tuyuc Velasquez will receive a medal and 20 million yen.

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    See also

    28/02/2008 JAPAN – JORDAN
    Niwano Prize awarded to Jordan’s Prince Hassan
    The award ceremony is scheduled for 8 May in Tokyo. The prince is being recognised for his actions as a “bridge builder” between civilisations and religions in the Middle East.

    24/02/2010 JAPAN – INDIA
    Niwano Peace Prize laureate Bhatt, from India, working to promote the status of women
    A follower of Gandhi, she is known as the “gentle revolutionary”. She is also the founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), which now has 1.2 million members, mostly poor and self-employed women. Her goal is to educate women to take charge of their movement, be strong and visible and lead social change.

    24/02/2015 JAPAN
    A Nigerian pastor and activist for women's rights awarded 32nd Niwano Peace Prize
    Esther Abimiku Ibanga founded the "Women Without Walls Initiative" to end the violence and the unjustified killing of women and children in Plateau State, Nigeria. The organization has become a strong coalition of women's groups beyond ethnic and religious divisions and is the first to have among its members, women leaders from all tribal groups, including Christian and Muslim.

    28/02/2014 JAPAN
    Dena Merriam, leader of the Global Peace Initiative for Women, wins the Niwano Peace Prize
    The organisation's purpose is to empower women, facilitate reconciliation in conflict and post-conflict areas, and offer spiritual resources to help address critical global problems. Since its founding, the GPIW has organised roundtables in Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Cambodia and Kashmir.

    27/02/2004 japan
    Niwano Peace Prize awarded to Ugandan organization




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