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Guwahati Archbishop nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

June 13
03:27 2011

Thomas Menamparampil

GUWAHATI: Archbishop of Guwahati Thomas Menamparampil has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his initiatives to bring peace among ethnic communities of the North East.

The Archbishop’s name has been nominated by a popular Italian magazine ‘Il Bollettino Salesiano’ which also published a four-page story on Menamparampil in its June edition titled ‘A Bishop for Nobel Prize’.

“I had not expected the nomination, but was overwhelmed by it. I was told about the possibility of such a development during my visit to Rome last month,” Menamparampil said here today.

“The award does not matter while carrying out peace initiatives. I will continue my mission for peace irrespective of whether I get any recognition or award. The need of the hour is adopting a non-confrontational attitude, tolerance and respect for each other for lasting peace in society,” the Archbishop said.

During the last fifteen years, Menamparampil has successfully led seven major peace initiatives – Bodo-Adivasi in 1996, Kuki-Paite in 1998, Dimasa-Hmar in 2003, Karbi-Kuki in 2003, Dimasa-Karbi in 2004, Bodo-Muslim at Udalguri in 2010 and Rabha-Garo in 2011.

“The people associated with Church negotiating peace in a conflict situation may not be considered a politically correct act, but when Church leaders and eminent citizens from warring factions join me in the conflict resolution process, it is making the Word of God come alive in the lives of people,” he said. .
74-year old Menamparampil, born in Pala in Kerala’s Kottayam district, became a Bishop in Assam’s Dibrugarh town and was appointed Archbishop of Guwahati in 1995.

Besides being a special invitee to the synod of ‘Bishops for Asia and on the Word of God’, Menamparampil is currently President of Northeast India Bishops’ conference, National Chairman of Bishops Commission for Education and Culture and Chairman of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference Commission for Evangelization.

A member of several Vatican Commissions, he is a recipient of the prestigious Mumbai-based Maschio Humanitarian Award in 1998.

He has written a book ‘Towards a Sense of Responsibility’ on various issues relating to peace and probity in public life. -PTI

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