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South Korean NGOs protest Seoul Peace Prize to Modi, say it's a disgrace

By Our Representative
Twenty six Korean NGOs, including human rights groups, have protested the Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation’s recent decision to award Prime Minister Narendra Modi this year’s Seoul Peace Prize, saying he "does not deserve the honour as he has a history of being complicit in violence against Muslims in India."
“We demand (the Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation) retract its decision to give the Seoul Peace Prize to Modi,” the 26 groups, including the Center for Refugee Rights in Korea and the Korean House of International Solidarity, said at a press conference in Seoul.
.Calling Modi “the perfect candidate,” the prize committee had said the Indian prime minister was being recognized for “Modinomics,” saying the economic reform programme had “reduced social and economic disparity between the rich and the poor” in India. The award follows Korean President Moon Jae-in's Delhi summit with Modi in July.
Human rights groups in Korea said, "Modi deliberately allowed anti-Muslim riots in India that killed more than 1,000 people in 2002", reports Korean Herald, recalling, how the Godhra train burning incident, in which 59 Hindu pilgrims were charred to death, "triggered a series of deadly riots in Gujarat in which more than 1,000 people were killed, many of them Muslims."
Pointing out that at that time "Modi was accused of deliberately ignoring the killings by his extremist Hindu allies", the daily adds, "Modi was banned from entering the United States in 2005, as well as the United Kingdom and the European Union, for his involvement in the deadly riots in 2002." The ban was lifted by UK and European Union in 2012 and 2013, respectively, and by Washington after becoming prime minister in 2014.
Comparing Modi to South Korea’s former President Chun Doo-hwan, who has been accused by some of orchestrating a massacre of civilians during his term in office in the 1980s, the NGOs said, “Giving Mr. Modi this prize for ‘Modinomics’ is almost equivalent to giving Chun Doo-hwan a peace prize for Korea’s economic development in the 1980s and the hosting of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.” They called the prize
to Modi a "disgrace to the past laureates of this prestigious award." Its past laureates include German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

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