Tue, 05 Aug 2003

Gus Dur awarded the 2003 World Peace Prize

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Former president Abdurrahman Wahid, popularly known as Gus Dur, will receive the 2003 World Peace Prize from the World Peace Prize Awarding Council.

"The award is expected to be handed to Gus Dur on Aug. 20 in South Korea," his spokesman, Adhie M. Massardie, told Antara at the Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital (RSCM) in Jakarta on Monday.

Gus Dur has been in the hospital since early Friday for high blood pressure. He is expected to leave the hospital on Wednesday to prepare for the presentation.

The World Peace Prize is given to those who have been working on peace creation, particularly on uniting ethnicities, nationalities and cultures.

Former recipients of the award were Ronald Reagan (USA), Husni Mubarrak (Egypt), Yitzhak Rabin (Israel), Annette Lu (Taiwan) and Meles Zenawi (Ethiopia).

The World Peace Prize Awarding Council was established in 1989 by Han Min-Su, a South Korean minister at the time and Robert Leggett, a U.S. representative at the World Peace Corps Mission.

The award is a welcome present for the former president who was celebrating his 63rd birthday on Monday in the stroke ward at RSCM.

His birthday was celebrated by his family and close friends, although it was not attended by Gus Dur himself as his doctors have banned visitors.

Several friends who came to the birthday party were National Awakening Party (PKB) deputy chairman Moh. Mahfud MD, Muslim scholar Salahuddin Wahid, who is also Gus Dur's brother, and Indonesian Farmers Federation chairman Siswono Yudhohusodo.