The Dalia Lama sent special envoy Tseten Chhoekyapa to honor Jason Kenney as he received UN Watch’s Moral Courage Award tonight in Geneva.
GENEVA, May 22, 2014 – The Dalai Lama, a former political prisoner and numerous other human rights and community leaders sent congratulatory messages to Canadian cabinet minister Jason Kenney upon receiving tonight’s 2014 Moral Courage Award from UN Watch at a Geneva ceremony.
Click here to read messages from former Chinese political prisoner Rebiya Kadeer, the Canadian Friends of Burma, African Diaspora Association of Canada, Vietnamese Canadian Federation, All Pakistan Minorities Association, World Uyghur Congress, and Federation for a Democratic China. Other messages follow below.
The Dalai Lama: “I have great admiration for your leadership, the concern and active support you have shown for the Tibetan cause, and your role in enhancing Canada’s diverse multi-ethnic and multicultural society… I have been impressed by your efforts to support the rights of oppressed people around the world.”
Irwin Cotler, Liberal Member of Parliament: “Jason Kenney has been a leader both in and outside of the Canadian Parliament on issues of respect for multiculturalism and diversity, the combating of racism and anti-Semitism, support for Israel’s right to live within secure and recognized boundaries free from any threats or acts of force, and support for fairness and due process at the UN, including combating the singling out of Israel for discriminatory treatment while giving human rights violators exculpatory immunity. We have been close colleagues and friends for some time – and I have been proud to work with him in common cause across party lines.”
Rabea Allos, Chaldean community: “Having worked closely with Minister Kenney to support the plight of Iraqi refugees, particularly Iraqi Christians, I have found him to be very passionate about rights of minorities, persecuted and marginalised. Minister Kenney has devoted a great amount of energy and enthusiasm to this worthy cause and is the driving force behind Canada’s contribution to the resettlement of Iraqis and other persecuted minorities. Most impressive is that he has approached this issue with such a personal touch and courage, which has left a warm feeling with those who he has encountered.”
Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs: “Time and time again, Minister Kenney has taken brave and principled positions on a wide range of human rights issues. His extensive contributions to the field of Holocaust awareness and his tireless efforts to counter antisemitism and anti-Zionism have earned him the gratitude and admiration of Canada’s Jewish community — a sentiment that extends to Israel and global Jewry. His conviction and willingness to speak out with a clear voice make him a deserving recipient of UN Watch’s Moral Courage Award. We congratulate Minister Kenney on this great honour.”
Lu Decheng, Chinese democracy activist: “Democracy or autocracy depends on whether human rights are defended. People under democracy fully enjoy human rights. People under authoritarian rule are denied even the most basic human rights. I am very lucky to have fled the country where human rights are absent. On April 11th, 2006, I was free with the help of Canadian government. Mr. Jason Kenney was one of the participants who were enthusiastic to help people like me. He is one of the leaders in the Canadian government. His hard working and active style make all democracy activists including myself much admire. Since I fled the communist Chinese, I had been detained by the Thai government for one and a half years. At that time, Mr. Kenney showed great concern of my situation. Especially in the first few months of 2006 when it was near the end of my detention, he asked the rescue team in Thailand quite often about how the work was going on and gave instructions of mediation with the Thai Government. I have been living in Canada for 8 years and I see that the Conservative government and Minister Kenney pay great attention to human rights of the world. For example, at the beginning of this year, the government saved more than 10 Tibetan exiles and arranged for them basic living. Also in 2009, with the help of Minister Kinney, Jiang Wei Ping （姜維平） was also freed from the communist China. To me, Minister Kenney is the one who protects democratic values. I sincerely pray that there would be more people like Minister Kenney to maintain Canadian values. Thus the world will be much better.”
Dr Martin Mark, Director of the Office for Refugees, Archdiocese of Toronto: “We would like to express our gratitude and congratulations to The Honourable Minister Jason Kenney in recognition for the UN Watch Moral Courage Award. It is a well-deserved honour for his efforts to improve and increase Canada’s international humanitarian commitments on helping uprooted people. Together with the resettlement community in Canada, he has helped to accomplish a lot in the Civic Resettlement Program during his tenure as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Minister Kenney helped to set the right directions for refugee sponsorship in Canada by working together and collaborating on our mutual goals to support Canada’s unique community-based refugee support work to help more displaced people than any time in the past decade. Beyond his professional dedication, I admire most in Minister Kenney his courage to touch the critical points of refugee processing and willingness to make even unpopular decisions to ensure that those in need of protection get it quickly and in a fair way. There is no better dream for an asylum seeker than to get protection/ refugee status within weeks after arriving to a country like Canada. This was made possible due to the tough decisions Minister Kenney had to make; similarly in the international resettlement processing, by speeding up the process it meant that we save more lives. In his work beyond the deep knowledge, I could see every time the human face and personal concern on how to help more of those who have no help at all. His energies mobilised our faith communities; countless individuals decided to resettle refugees just because they listen to him; they got his message: we can do more, we should do it better. I thank Minister Kenney for his cooperation and dedication to the plight of refugees globally and Canada’s willingness to welcome them.”
His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad – Ahmadiyya Khalif: “I was delighted to learn that you are receiving UN Watch’s 2014 Moral Courage Award. It is my prayer that this award may confer even greater blessings from God the Almighty upon you. No doubt, you are truly deserving of this award. In my experience you have demonstrated courage and boldness at every occasion and this has always pleasantly surprised me. And I frequently mention this quality you display to various people I meet.”
Frank Dimant – CEO, B’nai Brith Canada: “The Honourable Jason Kenney has been an outstanding beacon of reason, compassion and understanding of Canada’s multicultural society. Under his leadership and working with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, he has helped to reshape policy on combatting racism, anti-Semitism and anti-Israel propaganda. His outstanding leadership is appreciated by Canadians from all walks of life. The Jewish community, and B’nai Brith in particular, enjoy a warm relationship and consider him a good friend. I commend UN Watch for their wise decision to award The Honourable Jason Kenney with the 2014 Moral Courage Award. It is truly deserved.”
Vijay Sappani, Co-Founder, Sri Lankans Without Borders: “Minister Kenney has shown true leadership in looking at the big picture on the conflict in Sri Lanka, and addressing the human rights situation towards long term sustainable solution. Congratulations for a well-deserved UN Watch’s 2014 Moral Courage Award!”
Dr. Lobsang Sangay, Tibetan Sikyong: “￼I congratulate Honorable Jason Kenney for receiving the prestigious UN Watch’s 2014 Moral Courage Award. Honorable Jason Kenney strongly supports the Tibetan people’s aspirations for freedom, human rights and democracy. During almost two decades as an elected Member of Parliament, he has always been one of the most active members of the Canadian Parliamentary Friends of Tibet. Since becoming a high profile member of Cabinet in 2007, he has ensured that Canada prominently stands behind the Tibetan people by facilitating the first ever official meeting between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and a Canadian Prime Minister as well as the granting of Honorary Canadian citizenship. During his tenure as the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, he approved the immigration of 1000 Tibetan refugees from Arunchal Pradesh and currently as the Minister of Multiculturalism, he has joined His Holiness the Dalai Lama in launching Canada’s unique Tibetan-Chinese Youth Dialogue project. Honorable Jason Kenney has expressed and acted on — time and again — his deep concern for the situation in Tibet and his support for religious rights and freedom. I and all Tibetans deeply appreciate his steadfast support for the Tibetan cause. It is friends like the Honorable Jason Kenney who give full hope to Tibetans, inside and outside of Tibet, that we will one day know freedom. I once again congratulate the Honorable Jason Kenny, and wish him all the best for his future endeavors.”