"Engaged Buddhist" Sulak Sivaraksa of Thailand to receive 28th Niwano Peace Prize

The Buddhist Channel, March 1, 2011

TOKYO, Japan -- The Niwano Peace Foundation will award the 28th Niwano Peace Prize to Sulak Sivaraksa of Thailand in recognition of his contribution to a new understanding of peace, democracy and development and to environmental preservation based on the core principles of his Buddhist faith.

<< Sulak Sivaraksa

An award presentation ceremony will take place in Tokyo on May 19. In addition to an award certificate, Sulak will receive a medal and 20 million yen.

Born in 1933 in Thailand to a family of Chinese ancestry, Sulak was educated in Thailand, England and Wales in law and other disciplines. He returned to Thailand in 1961. His long career has seen him using his intellectual gifts to propel the concept and movement of "engaged Buddhism." He has worked as a teacher, scholar, publisher, activist and founder of many organizations, including the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB).

In selecting Sulak as an awardee for 2011, the Peace Prize Committee said he is "a voice of reason and ethics" and "intellectual enough to persuade people to promote the importance of social awareness among Buddhists all over the world." Sulak's intelligent advocacy for the environment is another important reason to honor him, who speaks forcefully against environmental destruction, promoting environmental preservation and environmental justice, according to the committee.

Niwano Peace Prize

The Niwano Peace Prize was established in 1983 to honor and encourage individuals and organizations that have contributed significantly to inter-religious understanding and cooperation, thereby furthering the cause of world peace. To avoid undue emphasis on any particular religion or region, nominations are solicited from some 700 people and organizations, representing 125 countries. The prize is named in honor of the founder and first president of the lay Buddhist organization Rissho Kosei-kai, Nikkyo Niwano.

Niwano Peace Foundation

The Niwano Peace Foundation was chartered in 1978 to contribute to the realization of world peace and the enhancement of a culture of peace. The foundation promotes research and other activities based on a religious spirit, and serves the cause of peace in such fields as education, science, religion and philosophy. The Niwano Peace Foundation is a government-recognized charitable organization. Contributions are tax-deductible.