At a ceremony held by the Gandhi Mandela Foundation at the Tsugla Khang temple in McleodGanj, Dharmashala on Saturday, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama received the first Gandhi Mandela Award from Himachal Pradesh Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar.

Arlekar called the Dalai Lama a “universal ambassador of peace” and said that he is “perhaps the most deserving person in the world today” for the award today.

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The Dalai Lama remarked during his acceptance speech that compassion and non-violence were fundamental to achieving world peace and that Indian culture has long been grounded in these values.

“Any problem cannot be solved by war but through dialogue and peace,” the 87-year-old said. 

In the cause of world peace and freedom, the Gandhi Mandela Foundation supports the principles and ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. The honour is given to world leaders who encourage people to live in peace, harmony, and freedom.

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Conferring his the award, Arlekar further said that the world has to follow his nonviolent and compassionate ideas because they are more powerful than any army. He claimed that the Dalai Lama has continued the long-standing tradition of kindness, compassion, and love.

Congratulating the Gandhi Mandela Foundation, he stated that only the Dalai Lama had the potential to follow Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela in becoming a global citizen because he was not constrained by national boundaries.

The Gandhi Mandela Awards are an international honour that promotes Gandhian and Nelson Mandela’s values in community service and social development across Asian and African nations. The award is given every year, and the Head of the State, including the President, Vice President, and Prime Minister of Asian and African countries, as well as a prominent international person, are requested to submit nominations for it.