MEP Endorses Dalai Lama For EU Peace Prize

16 August 2007
Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith has joined his colleagues from the European Green party in nominating the Dalai Lama for the Sakharov prize.

The Sakharov prize, named after the celebrated Russian dissident and Nobel prize winner Andrei Sakharov, is awarded by the European Parliament for Freedom of Thought and is often awarded to those campaigning against human rights abuses.

Speaking about the nomination of the Dalai Lama Mr Smith said;

"The Dalai Lama is an ideal choice for the Sakharov prize. Not only does he demonstrate Freedom of Thought and the values that the prize espouses but he encourages Freedom of Thought in others.

"The ongoing problems in China in relation to Human Rights abuses and to the situation in Tibet are often forgotten or ignored as we concentrate on China's booming economy or the forthcoming Olympic Games.

"The Dalai Lama is internationally respected as an Ambassador for peace and freedom. As the spotlight of the world turns to China 2008 is the right time for the European Parliament to recognise the ongoing work of the Dalai Lama in highlighting the situation in Tibet and human rights abuses across the world."

Previous recipients include Aun Sang Suu Kyi, Reporters without Borders, the Belarussian Association of Journalists and Xanana Gusmao, the first President of East Timor.