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Yet another peace prize and Obama

world Updated: Aug 15, 2010 23:29 IST
Utpal Parashar
US President

US President Barack Obama who is busy preventing jobs from going to China and India, trying to win the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and reviving the economy has another task in his hands.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has been contacted by Nepal government in connection with another peace prize. No, he won’t be presented one more for contribution towards world peace. Instead, the White House resident has been requested to recommend candidates for the first Gautam Buddha International Peace Award (GBIPA).

The Ministry of Federal Affairs, Constituent Assembly, Parliamentary Affairs and Culture (phew) sent a letter earlier this month to Obama seeking his help in finding the right recipient. There has been no reply yet but the officials are not worried. There’s still time for the award to be presented and they hope that Obama would do the needful by then.

Not banking on support of the ‘most powerful man on earth’ alone, similar letters have been sent to organisations like UNDP, UNHCR, UNESCO and ILO to nominate candidates former Nobel Peace Prize winners such as Jimmy Carter, Muhammad Yunus and Rajendra K. Pachauri would also be asked to recommend names.

The award would be presented on May 17, 2011 to mark Lord Buddha’s 2555th birth anniversary. Thereafter it will be given once every five years.

Peace is still an elusive commodity in the land of Buddha’s birth. Political instability has affected development and pulled the country to the lower rungs of most human development indexes.

Both peace and constitution drafting processes are moving at snail’s pace. Almost like the award itself, which was conceptualized in 1998, announced in 2002 and call for nominations made eight years later.

It would be a happy coincidence next year as the award will be presented the same month when Nepal gets a new constitution and ushers in lasting peace, hopefully.