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Prez. Sirleaf to get Indira Gandhi's Award

Jonathan Grisby and Benjamin S. Taingay
The Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
The Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

 ( lbsonline/Liberia )-President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has been named  to receive another international award from the Republic of India.

According to an Executive Mansion press release, India’s Honorary Consulate General accredited near Monrovia, Upjit Singh Sachdeva, made the disclosure Monday 19 November in Monrovia.

The Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development is one of India’s most prestigious awards being administered by the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.
The release quotes Mr. Sachdeva as having said: “President Johnson-Sirleaf will receive the award in India during her planned visit to that country”.

The disclosure of the President’s nomination for the prize coincided with the birth anniversary of India’s former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, assassinated in India 28 years ago in 1984.

The release also quotes the Indian Consul General as having said: “Plan is under way to confer the Prize on the Liberian leader by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee”.

“The trophy consists an award of 2.5M Rupees, along with a trophy and citation. The trophy is a square piece of banded Haematite Jasper, one of India’s hardest varieties of stones, estimated at 2,000 million years old”.

According to the release: “The portrait of Indira Gandhi is inset into the stone and rimmed in silver, with her name inscribed in the Devanagri script, and encased in a rosewood box edged in silver”.

“I am humbled to be honored by this prize and I am pleased to join the eminent group of persons who have received such prestigious prize”, the Liberian President said in reaction to her nomination.

“I am honored to receive a prize in the name of India’s former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. She is known throughout the world for her strong character and determination, and a very strong woman leader. In a way, she set the path for many of us followed her footsteps as leaders of our countries”.

“The Liberian President was singled out for the Prize for restoring financial health to Liberia and, financial prudence and economic planning that have brought economic recovery and development to the country”.

The release said: “Her selection was also based on her determination to promote reconciliation amongst Liberians, and her courage to overcome the many obstacles in her way to see Liberia’s return to the comity of nations as an equal and respected member”.

It also said: “President Johnson-Sirleaf was awarded the Prize for serving as shining example and inspiration to women around the world”.

“The President was awarded the prize for ensuring the return of peace, democracy and development to Liberia, and her strong interest in consolidating and improving Liberia-India relations, since her first election as President in 2005 and her re-election in 2011”, the release said.

The release named former United States President, Jimmy Carter, former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, former Ireland President, Mary Robinson, former President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Social Activist/Founder of Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), among others as previous recipients of the Indira Gandhi Prize.

The Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development is awarded annually to an individual or organization without distinction of nationality, race or religion.

“The Prize is awarded such individual, or organization for promoting international peace and disarmament, racial equality and, good-will and harmony among nations, as well as securing economic cooperation, and promoting a new international economic order, accelerating the all-round advancement of developing nations, and enlarging the scope of freedom and enriching human spirit”, the release said.

After receiving nominations from around the world, the release said: “Final selection for the Prize is made by a Jury of eminent persons, including international scientists and Jurists”.

The Jury of eminent persons is headed by India’s Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.


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