By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, Oct 10: The Tibetan spiritual leader has congratulated the Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos on being awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for his resolute efforts in putting an end to the prolonged civil war in the country.
“This award is a tribute to your tireless efforts to promote peace in Colombia, regardless of how difficult the prospects may have seemed when you began. I am deeply encouraged by the steadfast determination with which you have continued to work for reconciliation and peace despite the setbacks that have arisen on the way. Clearly what is important is to continue to strive for the goal until we succeed,” the Tibetan Nobel laureate wrote in his letter.
“I remain confident that before long the spirit of dialogue, mutual understanding and respect you have fostered will bear fruit and usher in a new era of peace and prosperity for Colombia,” the Dalai Lama concluded.
The Columbian President was awarded the coveted prize on Oct 7 for his resolute efforts to end a five-decade old conflict in Columbia. He signed an agreement with the Farc rebel group last month, but the deal was rejected a few days later by Colombian voters in a referendum.
Mr Santos after winning the prize tweeted, “this honorable distinction is not for me, it’s for all the victims of the conflict. Together we’ll win the most important award of them all: peace.”
The 2016 Noble Peace prize winner decided to donate the prize money to victims of the conflict. About 260,000 people have been killed and more than six million internally displaced in Colombia.
“Last night, I met with my family and we have decided to donate those eight million Swedish krona ($925,000) to the victims,” bbc.com quoted Mr Santos as quoted as saying in its report, Oct 10.