(Photo by Tenzin Dasel/Phayul.com/File)
New Delhi, September 5 – The Dalai Lama is one of the eight nominees for the EU parliament's 2008 Sakharov prize, the assembly said Wednesday. Also nominated are Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Franco-Colombian ex-hostage Ingrid Betancourt.
The EU parliament's prestigious prize is awarded each year to defenders of human rights and democracy.
The other candidates are NGO European Roma Rights Centre, jailed Chinese pro-democracy campaigner Hu Jia, Belarussian political prisoner Alexandr Kozulin, Russian human rights activist Mikhail Trepashkin and Abbot Apollinaire Malu Malu, head the Democratic Republic of Congo's electoral commission.
Three candidates will be shortlisted by the parliament's foreign affairs committee on September 22 and the winner will be chosen in mid-October. The prize will be presented at a Strasbourg plenary session on December 16.
The 2008 Sakharov Prize, named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, marks the twentieth year since the award was first instituted. All previous winners will be invited to attend the presentation ceremony in December.
Among the previous winners are former South African president Nelson Mandela, Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, ex-UN secretary general Kofi Annan and Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng.
The Dalai Lama arrived in New Delhi yesterday after receiving medical treatment in Mumbai.