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August 2021
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Ambassadors for Peace

Asia-Pacific Interreligious Online Fellowship Honors a ‘Legacy of Peace’

Philippines-2021-06-19-Asia-Pacific Interreligious Online Fellowship Honors a ‘Legacy of Peace’

Manila, Philippines—UPF-Asia Pacific together with the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) organized an Interreligious Online Fellowship with the theme, "Honouring A Legacy of Peace," on June 19, 2021. The event was attended by 50 people at the Philippine Peace Embassy in Manila and 183 people via Zoom. Additionally, 1,000 viewers watched the program on social media. The participation of the family and friends of the honorees, Ambassadors for Peace and members of UPF across the region was warmly recognized and appreciated.

This Legacy of Peace memorial program celebrated and commemorated the lives of 10 notable Ambassadors for Peace from across the Asia Pacific who recently passed away and have contributed significantly towards achieving sustainable peace. Those honored were

Marshall Islands

  1. H.E. Iroij Litokwa Tomeing, president of the Marshall Islands (2008-2009)

Sri Lanka

  1. Hon. D.M. Jayaratne, prime minister of Sri Lanka (2010-2015)

𝐊𝐢𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐚𝐭𝐢

  1. Hon. Taomati Iuta, vice president of Kiribati (2011-2015)

Sri Lanka

  1. Hon. W.J.M. Lokubandara, speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka (2005-2010)

Fiji

  1. Dr. Hon. Jiko Luveni, speaker of the Parliament of Fiji (2014-2018)

Philippines

  1. Hon. Heherson T. Alvarez, senator of the Philippines (1987-1998)
  2. Wencelito Andanar, Philippines special envoy to Malaysia (2018-2021)

Bhutan

  1. Hon. Choida Jamtsho, member of the Parliament of Bhutan (2018-2021)

India

  1. Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, Padma Sri awardee, and founder, Heart Care Foundation of India

Nepal

  1. Dr. Devendra Paudel, judge, Nepal

The program started with singing of a peace anthem and was followed by the lighting of 11 candles by Archbishop Elias Soria, president of the Asia-Pacific Clergy Leadership Conference and the IAPD- Philippines. The candlelight ceremony was dedicated to each honoree and all those who passed away due to COVID-19. It was followed by a Water of Harmony ceremony conducted by faith leaders from Nepal and prayers of remembrance offered by representatives of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. Then, passages of scriptures from eight different religions were read by Rev. Jimmy Sormin, executive secretary of Communion of Churches from Indonesia. Mrs. Ursula McLackland, coordinator of IAPD-Asia Pacific, read excerpts from a speech of UPF Founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and Dr. Robert S. Kittel, senior advisor and director for education of UPF-Asia Pacific, gave a special message reminiscing the very first Legacy of Peace program and appreciating the contributions of the honorees.

The highlight of the program was a tribute video showing a glimpse of the life and legacy of each honoree and was followed by the presentation of flowers, which were offered by UPF representatives and family members. Ms. Celine Deapera from the Philippines sang a beautiful rendition of the song “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

Afterwards, Dr. Tageldin Hamad, chair of the IAPD, and Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, chair of UPF-Asia Pacific, paid tribute to the honorees who were close friends and peace associates for many years. They emphasized the importance of the legacy of peace initiated by Rev. and Mrs. Moon. Acharya Dr. Shrivatsa Goswami, chair of the IAPD-Asia Pacific, gave the final message and closing prayer. Rev. Yutaka Yamada, director of UPF-Oceania, ended the program with cheers of the Korean phrase "Eok Mansei"—which means “10,000 years of happiness and peace.” A commemorative photo captured this historical event emceed by Dr. Julius B. Malicdem, director of UPF-Southeast Asia.

The program was highly appreciated by the family members of the honorees. As the program came to a close, Hon. England Iuta, member of the Parliament of Kiribati, wrote: “On behalf of the Parliament of Kiribati and my family, I wish to thank UPF for honoring the contributions of the late Hon. Taomati Iuta. May peace prevail on earth forever.”

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