Nepal confers Buddha award on Hiroshima, Nagasaki activists

The award of $50,000 will go jointly to the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Kathmandu: The twin Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be remembered Tuesday, the 2,555th birth anniversary of Gautam Buddha, when Nepal pays tribute to the apostle of peace and peace activists by awarding the first Gautam Buddha International Peace Award.

The award, which carries a citation and a purse of $50,000, will go jointly to Tadatoshi Akiba, the immediate past mayor of Hiroshima who became renowned for his campaign against nuclear arms, and fellow campaigner Tomihisa Taue, the mayor of Nagaski.

The United States had carried out atom bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Itself devastated by a 10-year communist insurgency and decades of political turmoil, Nepal instituted the award this year to join the global campaign for peace as well as honour one of its most renowned sons, the Buddha, who was born Prince Siddharth to a royal family in Kapilavastu, located in southwest Nepal.

Nepal`s first President, Ram Baran Yadav, will be conferring the awards Tuesday at Lumbini in southern Nepal, the sacred garden where the Buddha was born and which is now an international pilgrim centre.

The two Japanese were chosen for leading the "Mayors for Peace" movement that today has the participation of over 4,000 municipalities worldwide and advocates nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and slashing of military expenditure.


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