Civil rights activist and poetess Irom Sharmila, who has been on fast to death for nine years demanding withdrawal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) 1958 from Manipur, has been honoured by a Kerala-based human rights foundation.

The Myilamma Foundation conferred the ‘Myilamma Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award 2009’ on February 24 to Sharmila, who has been staying at J N Hospital at Porompat here where it was converted into a jail for her, a spokesperson of the Sharmila Kanba Lup (Save Sharmila Committee) said.

The award was handed over to her by foundation chairman Ramadas Kadirur, general secretary M N Giri and several other human rights activists.

They said the fast of Sharmila demanding withdrawal of AFSPA under, which human rights were “abused” by the security forces was justified and blamed the central government for its failure to pay any attention to it.

To spread the movement launched by Sharmila nationwide, a protest would be launched till March 14 at different parts of the country, including Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, the spokesperson said.

Sharmila, who was awarded ‘Gwangju 2007’ by South Korea-based Asian Human Rights Organisation, has been on fast since November 2, 2000.

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