Manila.30 July. The Board of Trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation today announced that six individuals from Burma, India, Korea, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines would receive Asia's most prestigious prize, the Ramon Magsaysay Award.
The Awardees are:
Hilario Davide, Jr., Chief Justice of the Philippines' Supreme Court, for Government Service. Chief Justice Davide is being recognized for "his life of principled citizenship in profound service to democracy and the rule of law in the Philippines."
Dr. Ruth Pfau, a Catholic nun in Pakistan who for many years led the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center (MALC), for Public Service. Dr. Pfau is being honored for "her lifelong dedication to eradicating leprosy and its stigma in Pakistan, and other loving gifts to her adopted country."
Dr. Cynthia Maung, from Burma, founder and head of the Mae Tao Clinic in the border town of Mae Sot, Thailand, for Community Leadership. Dr. Maung is being cited for her "humane and fearless response to the urgent medical needs of thousands of refugees and displaced persons along the Thailand-Burma border."
Bharat Koirala, founder and lifetime mentor of the Nepal Press Institute, for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts. Mr. Koirala is receiving the Award for "developing professional journalism in Nepal and unleashing the democratizing powers of a free media."
Sukho Choi (Venerable Pomnyun Snim), a Korean Buddhist monk, for Peace and International Understanding. He is being recognized for his "compassionate attention to the human costs of Korea's bitter division and his hopeful appeal for reconciliation."
Sandeep Pandey, of Asha for Education, India, for Emergent Leadership. Mr. Pandey is being cited for "the empowering example of his commitment to the transformation of India's marginalized poor."
The Ramon Magsaysay Award, established in 1957 to honor the memory and leadership example of the third Philippine President, is given yearly to individuals or organizations In Asia who manifest the same sense of selfless service that ruled the life of the late and Beloved Filipino leader.
According to Foundation President Carmencita T. Abella, "this year's six Magsaysay awardees, much like their peers before them, personify selfless leadership that is making a lasting difference towards making Asia a better place to live in. In these times of great division, inequity and seeming hopelessness, these remarkable women and men are working quietly and persistently to address longstanding, painful social issues. Their accomplishments, done without fear or fanfare, bring to the world inspiring news of healing, justice, generosity, reconciliation and hope. The Foundation is privileged to be the bearer of such inspiring news from Asia."
The Award is now given in six categories:
Government Service - for "outstanding service in the public interest in any branch of government, including executive, judicial, legislative or military."
Public Service - for "outstanding service to the public good by a private citizen."
Community Leadership - for "leadership of a community toward helping the disadvantaged have fuller opportunities and a better life."
Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts - for "effective writing, publishing, or photography, or use of radio, television, cinema or theater as a power for public good."
Peace and International Understanding - for "outstanding contributions to the advancement of friendship, peace and solidarity as the foundations for sustainable development within and across countries."
Emergent Leadership - (established in 2000) for "outstanding work of an individual, age 40 and below, on issues of social change in his/her community, but whose leadership is not yet broadly recognized outside of these communities.'
The six Magsaysay awardees of 2002 join the roster of 223 other laureates who have received Asia's highest honor to date. This year's Magsaysay Award winners will each receive a certificate, a medallion bearing the likeness of the late President, and a cash prize. They will be formally conferred the Award during presentation ceremonies to be held on August 31, 2002 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, to which the public is cordially invited.
This year's Magsaysay awardees will also speak in a series of public lectures to be held at the Ramon Magsaysay Center from August 28 to September 3, 2002.