Refugees give "Century Merit Award" to Kofi Annan, three others
by Zacki Jabbar

Refugees created by disasters in Sri Lanka Indonesia,Sumatra and Pakistan have bestowed the "Century Merit Award", the first of its kind on former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and three others.

The verdict was an outcome of a poll called the ‘Century Disasters Opinion Poll’ conducted in refugee camps of the respective countries by the "All Universities Steering Committee for Disaster Management Policies" after the second anniversary of the tsunami.

The other recipients of the award given in recognition of their efforts in helping disaster victims were Tzu Cli - an international foundation from Taiwan, Shadow International - a welfare institution from Canada and Professor Aurangzeb Hafi- an epidemiological researcher from Pakistan.

The organisers have decided to establish a £3,000,000 "KASTAH Scholarship" named after the four recipients.It would be given for outstanding research papers, doctoral and post doctoral studies on an annual basis. In this connection the Disaster Investigation Centre at the famous "River Kwai" is to be named "KASTAH Research Centre."

Amongst the outscored inductees of the selection slate were Oxfam UK, Rotary International, Mavso International, Lions

Club, the SOS and local and regional NGO’s.

The decision to bestow the "Century Merit Award"which has diverse academic and coveted dispositions was taken at the ‘Tsunami International Conference’ held from December 26 to 27 in Colombo, to coincide with the second anniversary of the tsunami.

The "All Universities Steering Committee for Disaster Management Policies" which organised the conference is represented by universities from Sri Lanka,Indonesia,-Sumatra,Pakistan and Thailand.

Policy papers from more than 137 countries were presented at the conference,presided over by Rev.Lt.General (R) S.S.Paru from Indonesia.

A Disaster Management Policy Paper prepared by academics from 1100 universities is to be presented to the United Nations and concerned agencies shortly.

Representations made by the participants included the devastation caused in the South,North and,East of Sri Lanka.


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