New Delhi: Several Korean civil society organizations strongly protested conferment of Seoul Peace Prize 2018 to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged the Prize committee to retract their decision.
The annual award was conferred on Modi for “fostering economic growth in the world’s fastest growing large economy and furthering the development of democracy through anti-corruption and social integration efforts”.
According to a statement of the Indian External Affairs Ministry, the Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation described Modi as the perfect candidate for the award.
However, human rights organisations and several civil society organisations took to the streets protesting that Modi does not deserve the honour. The protesters asserted that awarding Modi was akin to giving the prize to “Chun Doo-hwan, a former army general and dictator.
Chun was South Korea’s president from 1980 to 1988. He was sentenced to death in 1996 for the Gwangju massacre, in which over 600 civilian protesters are believed to have been killed by his martial law government.
The protesters cited that Modi was then the Gujarat Chief Minister during the 2002 riots in Gujarat that led to the killing of thousands of Muslims.
The protesters demanded that the Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation retract its decision to give the Seoul Peace Prize to Modi.