Hume receives Gandhi Peace Prize in India


Nobel Prize winner Mr John Hume today collected an award in India for his role in the Northern Ireland peace process.

The former SDLP leader was to be presented with the Gandhi Peace Prize, the country's highest peace honour, at a ceremony in the President's Residence in Delhi.

Mr John Hume
A jury chaired by Indian Prime Minister Mr Shri Atal Begari Vajpayee unanimously decided to confer the award on Mr Hume, who was described as a man who had been "instrumental in heralding a new era of justice, peace and reconciliation in Ireland".

The Indian government said that in honouring Mr Hume "the Indian nation pays tribute to an extraordinary man, who by his fearlessness, selflessness and dedication to the cause of humanity upheld those ideals which were dearest to Mahatma Gandhi".

The Gandhi Peace Prize was launched in 1995 on the 125th anniversary of his birth. Previous winners have included Mr Nelson Mandela, former president of Tanzania Dr Julius Nyerere, and founder president of the Sarvodaya Movement in Sri Lanka Dr A. T. Ariyarante.

After receiving his prize Mr Hume will travel to Sri Lanka to discuss his experiences of conflict resolution to help them in their peace process.