The Words of the Yong Family
Gangtok, Sikkim, India - The Universal Peace Federation of India honored Dr. Pawan Chamling, Hon. Chief Minister of Sikkim, with the Leadership and Good Governance Award on July 6. The ceremony took place in the “Chintan Bhawan” Government Hall in Gangtok, the picturesque capital of Sikkim.
As most senior Chief Minister of the Indian Union from 1994 until the present, Dr. Pawan Chamling is the third Indian statesman to be selected for this prestigious award. He has led his home state of Sikkim through many challenges, and aims to turn this landlocked mountain state in eastern Indian into a self-reliant model state by 2015. The hall was filled with over 500 leaders, including the Vice Chancellor of Sikkim University, 90 senior government and political leaders, current and former ministers, seven professor and school principals, six high-ranking police officers, four National Award Winners, more than 200 bureaucrats, 50 media representatives, and other civil society leaders.
The former Minister of Human Resource Development Department, Shri G.M. Gurung said in his Welcome Remarks: “The Universal Peace Federation, an NGO inspired by the vision of Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, calls upon all people to give great consideration to the profound relevance and significance of religion in the effort to secure human rights. Religion, after all, teaches that we share a common origin, the source of our sacred values. Religion teaches the value of each human being and the need to love and serve others. With increasing spiritual awareness, there emerges a great collective will to ensure the well-being of all people. As a humble believer of the importance of the need to introduce moral education as a compulsory subject in our schools, I made a beginning when I was a minister, but a lot remains to be accomplished, and I am confident that with the blessings of the Hon. Chief Minister, Sikkim will show the way to the rest of the country in this regard.”
Dr. Chung Sik Yong, Chairman of UPF-Asia, lauded the Hon. Chief Minister for his achievements and congratulated him “for being such a shining example and model of a responsible leader who truly cares for his people with the heart of a parent. Father Moon has always taught us that a good leader is someone who lives for the sake of others and who invests everything he has for his people just like a parent who is ready to give and give again without expecting any reward.”
The Hon. Chief Minister thanked UPF for the honor bestowed upon him with the following words: “I’m equally very proud to be associated with this world initiative, and this global recognition is indicative of something worthwhile happening in Sikkim to advance the cause of peace and greater peace in the region, country and the world…We no longer look for someone to take us to the mountain-top and point the way to the Promised Land. We should no longer expect someone to lead us on by our fingers to enter a place of perfection. We must together make it happen through collective effort, joint commitment, and common sacrifices. The Universal Peace Federation through its worldwide action and cooperative peace building efforts is leading a universal campaign to promote peace, family values, cultural exchanges, educational programs for a strong world order in which everyone can live in freedom, harmony and prosperity. The miracle called Helen Keller once said 'I find life an exciting business and most exciting when it is lived for others.' This moment has encouraged me to live the most exciting life once again and live for others, always.”
Dr. Mahendra P. Lama, Vice-Chancellor of Sikkim University, hosted a Welcome Dinner for the UPF delegates, members of the UPF-Sikkim chapter, and staff of his university. He expressed a desire to build an institutional relationship between his university and UPF. The Hon. Chief Minister reciprocated Dr. Chung Sik Yong’s invitation to attend a UPF conference in his homeland of Korea by inviting the visiting dignitaries for a special dinner at his residence.
There was a lot of publicity in the local media announcing the upcoming award ceremony. The local TV channel broadcast the entire ceremony live. Following the event, different national TV channels covered the program as headline news. On the following day, all the state dailies as well as some national newspapers highlighted the event with front-page stories and photos.