International peace prize named after Vietnamese king

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The US-based Tran Nhan Tong Academy announced the launch of the Tran Nhan Tong Prize for Reconciliation and Compassion on June 19.

The annual prize will honor those who devote themselves to promoting worldwide reconciliation.

The recipients will be selected by a committee including Thomas Patterson, the Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government; Nguyen Anh Tuan, director of the Tran Nhan Tong Academy; and the Miami Herald newspaper's former editor-in-chief Thomas Fiedler.

The award's advisory board has Vietnam's former National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Van An, Latvia's former president Vaira Vike-Freiberga and Michael Dukakis, former governor of Massachusetts and presidential candidate.

The academy, established in April, will also host an annual international Tran Nhan Tong Conference, the first of which will take place on September 22 at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

In Hanoi, the academy is helping create the Tran Nhan Tong Museum and Learning Center, which will feature the life and legacy of Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308) and activities to promote his vision of reconciliation and compassion.

According to the school's website, Tran Nhan Tong Academy was created to advance "the spirit, philosophy and wisdom of the legendary king"¦He was a wise king who understood that tolerance is the key to personal contentment and to a society united as one."

After repelling Mongol invasions, Tran Nhan Tong the third king of the Tran Dynasty, retired to become a monk and founded the Truc Lam sect of Vietnamese Buddhism. He is remembered for promoting peace and compassion for the poor.

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