Ramon Magsaysay Awardees (from left) Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) President Cecilia Garrucho, Tony Tay of Singapore, Gethsie Shanmugam of Sri Lanka, Abdon Nababan of Indonesia, Lilia De Lima of Philippines, and Yashiaki Ishizawa pose for a picture during the awards ceremony at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in Manila on 31 August. The Ramon Magsaysay Award was created in 1957, the year the Philippines lost in a plane crash a president who was well-loved for his leadership and moral courage, simplicity and humility - AFP
Reuters: A Sri Lankan counselor, a Singaporean businessman and a former Filipino government official shared their stories after winning the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s equivalent to the Nobel Peace Prize.
Sri Lanka’s Gethsie Shanmugam was recognised for spending most of her life helping refugees in her home country cope with the hardship of war. The 83 year-old said understanding was the key in helping the refugees and possibly stopping the wars.
Singapore’s Tony Tay was chosen for his charity group’s programme which has been feeding thousands of poor families since 2009. Having risen from poverty himself, Tay said he founded “Willing Hearts” to get volunteers cook food for the masses. Philippines’ Lilia de Lima, a former government official of over two decades, was recognised for her ability in stamping corruption and improving bureaucracy under her local economic agency. She is also the aunt of Senator Leila de Lima, a well-known critic of President Rodrigo Duterte who has been detained for drug-related charges.
Among the other winners were Japan’s Yoshiaki Ishizawa, Indonesia’s Abdon Nababan and the Philippine Educational Theater Association.
The awards ceremony will be held on 31 August.
The awards, named for after a popular Philippine president who was killed in a plane crash, were set up in 1957 and about 300 people and 25 organisations have been recognised since 1958.