29th Niwano Peace Prize Recipient Visits Rissho Kosei-kai Facilities
Ms. Rosalina Tuyuc Velásquez, a Guatemalan human rights activist and the recipient of the 29th Niwano Peace Prize, visited the Hiroshima Dharma Center of Rissho Kosei-kai on May 14 and had exchanges with some 300 members. At the beginning of a welcoming ceremony she offered a prayer according to the rites of Mayan indigenous people, of which she is a member. She then heard an account of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, in 1945, by a survivor, who is a member of the Hiroshima Dharma Center. After that she delivered a commemorative address.
On May 15, Ms. Velásquez attended Rissho Kosei-kai's monthly memorial observance for Shakyamuni Buddha in the Great Sacred Hall in Tokyo. She addressed 1,359 Rissho Kosei-kai members who gathered in the hall. She spoke about her ideas on peace and praised Rissho Kosei-kai's work for peace, saying, "I offer my respect to members who engage in activities every day, based on the teachings of your founder, Rev. Nikkyo Niwano, to better the lives of all people."
She added that awarding her the Niwano Peace Prize this year would encourage all women working for peace around the world. She expressed her wish to combine her strengths with many others and rededicate herself to efforts for peace, by tackling many of the injustices that the world still allows, such as poverty and starvation.
After the ceremony she visited the Precious Stupa of the One Vehicle, which houses relics of Rissho Kosei-kai's founder, and the Nikkyo Niwano Memorial Museum, both in the grounds of the headquarters. She then attended a luncheon at the Horin-kaku Guest Hall. Responding to a welcoming speech by Rev. Yasutaka Watanabe, chair of the Board of Trustees, Ms. Velásquez expressed her appreciation for the invitation, saying that her visits to Rissho Kosei-kai's facilities had been a valuable opportunity to reaffirm the importance of living in harmony.
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