The Award was presented to Wilder Tayler at a ceremony in Fribourg, Switzerland, on Saturday 13 April 2013.
The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) presented the Light of Truth Award to individuals and institutions who have made significant contributions to the public understanding of Tibet and the struggle for human rights and democratic freedoms for the Tibetan people.
The ICJ was awarded for its reports documenting the experience, trials and tribulations of Tibetan people at the hands of Chinese forces, and drawing attention to the rights of Tibetans.
“You cannot imagine the outpouring of emails I have received even from very old members of the ICJ and the pride and joy in receiving the recognition of the work of ICJ by the Tibetan community, by His Holiness, by the solidarity organizations. Really it has been so moving,” said ICJ Secretary General Wilder Tayler (photo). “This prize will be dedicated to the late Nick Howen, my immediate predecessor and very dear friend who passed away quite tragically three years ago. Nick was a devoted activist of the Tibet cause; he not only put a lot of hours, he actually put his life at risk when there was need of it in order to pursue the cause, to bring information out of Tibet.”
The award itself is an antique Tibetan butter lamp, symbolizing the light that each recipient has shed on the Tibet issue.In addition to the ICJ, the Light of Truth Award 2013 was given to four other honorees, including ICJ Honorary Member Theo van Boven.
Professor van Boven is a Dutch jurist and professor emeritus in international law, a former UN Rapporteur on Torture and served as ICJ Vice-President in the 1990s. He was awarded for putting the spotlight on Tibet within and beyond the United Nations system.
Other awardees include Professor Dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling, former German Minister and Parliamentarian, who has been working in a low-key manner for many years on the issue of the Tibetan-Chinese relationship; Ms. Sigrid Joss-Arnd, the longest-standing member of the Swiss Red Cross officials who was involved in helping Tibetans in the diaspora from the early 1960s; and Mr. Robert Ford, CBE, for his tireless advocacy on Tibet for more than half a century. Mr Ford is the only Westerner who was given official ranking in the Tibetan government before 1950 and he was imprisoned by the Chinese authorities for nearly five years.
“All of you have been long-standing friends and supporters of Tibet, for which we are immeasurably grateful. As you know, the spirit of the Tibetan people is undiminished and the power of truth remains strong,” the Dalai Lama said at the ceremony.
The Light of Truth Award is the most prestigious award in the Tibet movement and has been presented by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, on behalf of the ICT, for many years.
Previous recipients include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the late Václav Havel, Chinese scholar and writer Wang Lixiong, and film director Martin Scorsese.
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