Tibetan Award Winner Tours Canada


The winner of the John Humphrey Freedom Award, a Tibetan monk who spent 33 years in Chinese jails, will speak up on human rights abuse and the plight of the Tibetan people in a cross-country tour organized by the International Centre.

MONTREAL – Dec. 2,  1998  –  The winner of the John Humphrey Freedom Award, a Tibetan monk who spent 33 years in Chinese jails, will speak up on human rights abuse and the plight of the Tibetan people in a cross-country tour organized by the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (ICHRDD).

Palden Gyatso, who works at a Tibetan refugee centre in Dharamsala in India, will travel to Montreal next week to receive the prize which is given annually by the International Centre, to recognize the work of a front line human rights defender.

The 67-year old monk endured more than three decades of torture in Chinese prisons and labour camps for his participation in the 1959 uprising against the occupation of Tibet. Gyatso is a passionate speaker on human rights and an outspoken critic of China. During his tour he will display the instruments of torture routinely used against Tibetan prisoners.

The President of the International Centre, Warren Allmand, will present the award in Montreal to Palden Gyatso on Thursday, December 10, 1998, International Human Rights Day and the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

On December 9, Palden Gyatso will be in Ottawa to meet the national press and officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Palden Gyatso was selected by an international jury which met last summer to consider more than 60 nominations for the award from around the world. The award includes a $25,000 grant and the speaking tour which will take him to Sherbrooke, Quebec, Ottawa, St-John’s, Halifax, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. Given out every year by the International Centre, this award is named in honour of John Peters Humphrey, the Canadian who prepared the first draft of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development is an independent and non partisan Canadian institution with an international mandate working with citizens and governments around the world to promote human rights and democratic development through dialogue, strategic interventions, advocacy and public education. It concentrates its programmes in 13 developing countries.

PALDEN GYATSO’S SCHEDULE IN CANADA

Tuesday, December 8, 1998
Gyatso will be in Sherbrooke at the Universit? de Sherbrooke. In Qu?bec City, sneak preview of the special exhibit on the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights at the Mus?e de la civilisation.

Wednesday, December 9, 1998
Ottawa: Press conference at the National Press Theatre, 150 Wellington Street, at 10:00 a.m. meetings with officials from Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Thursday, December 10, 1998
Montreal: John Humphrey Freedom Award Ceremonies in collaboration with Vision TV at the Cinqui?me Salle at Place des Arts at 5:00 p.m. Guest Speaker: Louise Arbour, Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. Human Rights Concert in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the UDHR at the Spectrum in Montreal at 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 12, 1998
St-John’s: Public conference at the Gower Street Church at 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 13, 1998
Halifax: Public lecture at Dalhousie University Law School at 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, December 15, 1998
Toronto: Public Conference at the University of Toronto, Sir Sandford Fleming Building (room 1105) at 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 17, 1998
Vancouver: Public Lecture at the Planetarium Auditorium at 7:00 p.m.

Friday, December 18, 1998
Calgary: Public Forum at the University of Calgary at 7:00 p.m.