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11 Sep 2017

Cultural activists among winners of Ramon Magsaysay Awards



Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honour, given every year to individuals or organisations in Asia who manifest “selfless service and transformative influence”. Rights and cultural activists are among this year's winners of the awards, described as Asia's equivalent to the Nobel Prize.

An Indonesian tribal rights activist, a Japanese man working for the preservation of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat and a Philippines educational theatre association are among this year’s winners of the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

Indonesian Abdon Nababan has been recognised for “his brave, self-sacrificing advocacy to give voice and face to his country’s indigenous people communities, his principled, relentless, yet pragmatic leadership of the world’s largest tribal rights movement, and the far-reaching impact of his work on the lives of millions of Indonesians.”

Yoshiaki Ishizawa from Japan will receive the award for “his selfless, steadfast service to the Cambodian people, his inspiring leadership in empowering Cambodians to be proud stewards of their heritage, and his wisdom in reminding us all that cultural monuments like the Angkor Wat are shared treasures whose preservation is thus, also our shared global responsibility”.

Also a recipient of this year’s award is the Philippine Educational Theatre Association of the Philippines for its “bold, collective contributions in shaping the theatre arts as a force for social change, its impassioned, unwavering work in empowering communities … and the shining example it has set as one of the leading organizations of its kind in Asia”.

The Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honour aimed at celebrating the memory and leadership example of the third Philippine president after whom the award is named.

Read more from Asia-Pacific Report