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October 6, 2007

Cochabamba Department, Bolivia, Honors SGI President and Mrs. Ikeda

Cochabamba's medal of highest honor

On October 6, 2007, the Department (State) of Cochabamba, Bolivia, commended SGI President Daisaku Ikeda as a philosopher, writer, educator and poet who has dedicated his life to promoting humanitarianism and global peace. Mrs. Kaneko Ikeda was also recognized for her contributions to peace and women's empowerment.

The conferral ceremony was held at the SGI-Bolivia Culture Center in Santa Cruz. SGI-Bolivia General Director Katsuo Takeno and Women's Leader Hiroko Sasaki accepted certificates and a medal on the Ikedas' behalf from Patricia Aviles de Reyes Villa, wife of Prefect Manfred Reyes Villa.

On the same occasion, La Paz City also presented a commendation to Mr. Ikeda in appreciation for his leadership of the SGI and its humanitarian contributions, highlighting the SGI-Bolivia members' volunteer relief efforts during a devastating flash flood that struck La Paz in February 2002. Viviana Méndez, Cultural Agency director, representing La Paz Department Prefect José Luis Paredes Muñoz, entrusted a certificate to SGI-Bolivia representatives.

Previously, Mr. Ikeda and the SGI were recognized by Cochabamba following SGI-Bolivia's expeditious relief activities in the wake of the devastating 1998 earthquake and its sponsorship of the Gandhi, King, Ikeda human rights exhibition in 2004 at San Simon University, which was viewed by 11,000 citizens.

Ms. Reyes Villa (5th from left) and Ms. Méndez of La Paz (2nd from left) joint SGI-Bolivia women representatives for a commemorative photo

[Adapted from an article in the October 21, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]