CHENNAI: Veerasingham Anandasangaree, president of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), is the winner of the 2006 UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence. UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura has designated Mr. Anandasangaree as the laureate of the 2006 prize.
Born in Sri Lanka in 1933, Mr. Anandasangaree became the president of the TULF in 2002, after working as a teacher and lawyer. As an indefatigable advocate of democracy and peaceful conflict resolution, he has contributed to raising awareness of the Tamil cause in a spirit of dialogue, while seeking to promote non-violent solutions to Sri Lanka and opposing terrorism.
Spirit of tolerance
The $100,000 UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize was created in 1995 on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the birth of the Mahatma Gandhi, by the generosity of the Indian writer and diplomat Madanjeet Singh, who is also a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. Dedicated to advancing the spirit of tolerance in the arts, education, culture, science and communication, the prize is awarded every two years to an individual or an institution for exceptional contributions in the promotion of tolerance and non-violence.
The Prize was awarded on the recommendation of an international jury. The members of the jury are: Andrés Pastrana Arango, former President of Colombia; Bahia Hariri, President of the Commission for Education, Science and Culture of the Lebanese Parliament; Inder Kumar Gujral, former Prime Minister of India; Sergei Markarov and Manu Dibango, both UNESCO Artists for Peace.
In 2004, the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize was won by Bangladeshi writer and journalist Taslima Nasreen. The prize-giving ceremony will be held on International Day for Tolerance, celebrated every year on November 16.