08/04/2009, 00.00
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Asian Nobel of 2009, environmental and human rights activists awarded

by Santosh Digal
They come from Thailand, India, Philippines, Myanmar and China, the Winners of the 2009 Ramon Magsaysay Award, in memory of former Philippine president. They are "true Asian heroes" because they do not surrender in front of "pressure and adversity."

Manila (AsiaNews) – On 31 August next six leading figures from Thailand, India, Philippines, Myanmar and China (2) will be presented the Ramon Magsaysay Award 2009, better known as the "Nobel of Asia." Yesterday the Board of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) announced the winners, noting that they "exemplify the greatness of spirit and leadership" in a society in continual change and represent a "positive difference" for the countries of origin.

There are six categories in which the prize is divided: good governance, public service, community leadership, journalism, literature and communication arts, peace and international cooperation; emerging young people. For the 2009 edition the awards will go to the following winners:

Krisana Kraisintu, Thailand, for “her placing pharmaceutical rigor at the service of patients, through her untiring and fearless dedication to producing much-needed generic drugs in Thailand and elsewhere in the developing world”.


Deep Joshi, from India, for "his vision and leadership in bringing professionalism to the NGO movement in India, by effectively combining 'head' and 'heart' in the transformative development of rural communities."  

Yu Xiaogang, Chinese (in photo), for "his fusing the knowledge and tools of social science with a deep sense of social justice, in assisting dam-affected communities in China to shape the development projects that impact their natural environment and their lives.".  


Ma Jun, also from China is being recognized for "his harnessing the technology and power of information to address China’s water crisis, and mobilizing pragmatic, multisectoral, and collaborative efforts to ensure sustainable benefits for China's environment and society”.


Antonio Oposa Jr., from the Philippines is being recognized for "his path breaking and passionate crusade to protect and nurture the environment for the children, and generations still to come”.


And finally Ka Hsaw Wa, from Burma is being recognized for "his dauntlessly pursuing non violent yet effective channels of redress, exposure, and education for the defence of human rights, the environment, and democracy in Burma”.


Ramon Magsaysay (1907-1957) was the third president of the Philippines since the end of the Second World War, his life and his example had a considerable influence at home and abroad. The award dedicated to his memory was created in 1958, a year after his death, now 277 people on the continent have received what has been dubbed the Nobel Prize of Asia.   Carmencita T. Abella, RMAF president says that the winners of 2009 "are true Asian heroes" because they have made available "to those in need their knowledge and skills." "They -  she continues - encourage cooperation and seek consensus in all areas. Refusing to yield under the weight of pressure and adversity. "

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