Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Commissioner Ronald L. Adamat is the first Filipino recipient of the “Mahatma MK Gandhi Prize for Non-Violent Peace” awarded on March 27, 2022 during the World Peace Seminar and Award Ceremony hosted by the Mahatma MK Gandhi Foundation for Non-Violent Peace and organized by the international peace NGO, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL).
Peace advocates, heads of educational institutions, religious leaders, and international law professors from four continents have attended to affirm the solidarity in taking global actions for peace.
Since its inception in 1989, the Foundation has awarded the Mahatma MK Gandhi Prize for Non-Violent Peace every year to peace activists who have greatly contributed to global peace and humanity. Former laureates include former President of the U.S.A., Jimmy Carter and former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.
Welcoming speeches by the Foundation’s General Secretary Dr. Jyoti Mohapata, and the Chairman of HWPL, Mr. Lee Man-hee, and the congratulatory speeches by presidential candidate of the Philippines, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., current Mayor of Davao City, Sara Duterte, Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Commissioner Dr. J. Prospero “Popoy” E. De Vera III, and leader of the Maobadi Party Nepal, Ms. Kopila Kunwar all emphasized the need of taking communal actions to cherish the value of peace.
Along with Commissioner Adamat, Venerable Ashin Htavara, the General Secretary of the All Burmese Monks Representative Committee from Norway was also awarded this year.
Dr. Ronald L. Adamat was recognized for his contributions to promote peace education in the Philippines. In 2018, he signed an MOA with HWPL and in 2019, he approved a CHED Memorandum Order mandating all state universities and colleges, as well as private higher education institutions to integrate peace studies in their respective curricula. Ven. Htavara, on the other hand, set up two peace libraries in Myanmar, participated in the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Office in Norway, and led a campaign in support of an international law to put an end to wars and promote peace.
In his acceptance speech, Commissioner Adamat said that he has been gathering support from Filipino peace advocates to convince the government to declare January 24 as “National Peace Day”. He also shared his plan to establish peace monuments inside university and college campuses nationwide. He also encouraged peoples and governments around the globe should work together to bring peace to the world through education.
“The Mahatma MK Gandhi Prize for Non-Violent Peace Award shall be a reminder that it is always my responsibility to promote non-violent peace through education… Never in my wildest dream that one day, an award named after the man I admired so much will be conferred on me,” said Commissioner Adamat.
Chairman Lee said in his congratulatory speech, “Peace is a right that everyone living in this global community must enjoy.” He also stressed ending the meaningless wars where valuable lives are lost even at this moment in various parts of the world. Chairman Lee also received the award in 2016.