HA NOI — The Tran Nhan Tong International Prize for Reconciliation and Compassion has been made public on the website www.trannhantongprize.org by Tran Nhan Tong Academy of Harvard University.
The academy, named after the third king in the Tran dynasty of Viet Nam (1225-1400), was founded in April with an objective of researching the king, and popularising his career and ideas to the world.
Every year, the academy's prize committee will present an award to people who make great contributions to building friendships among countries and solving conflicts.
Nomination letters should be sent to the committee before July 31. They will select the award recipients in the first week of August and announce their names in mid-August.
The committee is comprised of academy president Thomas Patterson, academy director Nguyen Anh Tuan, Alex Jones and Thomas Scanlon from Harvard University, and Thomas Fiedler from Boston University.
The prize also sees the participation of former and current leaders as advisors, such as Viet Nam's former chairman National Assembly Nguyen Van An, Latvia's former president Vaira Vike-Freiberga, and Washington Post's vice president Ann McDaniel.
Each awardee will receive a medal, a certificate, and a classical work or a song and a poem (in English and Vietnamese) praising them.
The Recognition Day and the Tran Nhan Tong International Conference will take place at the John F Kennedy School of Government, at Harvard University on September 22.
Tran Nhan Tong was one of the most talented kings in Vietnamese history. He became a king in 1278 at the age of 20. He led the Vietnamese people in defeating the Chinese Yuan-Mongol invasions in 1285 and 1288. During his 15 years on the throne (1278-93), he gave preferential treatment to poor people and carried out firm but flexible policies to cope with the northern invaders.
In 1299, he went to Hoa Yen Pagoda on Yen Tu mountain in the northern province of Quang Ninh to become a monk and then founded Truc Lam Zen Buddhism. During this time, he still gave suggestions to his son for how to rule the country and often lectured on his Zen Buddhism ideology for people. He died in 1308 at the age of 50 in Ngoa Van, a small temple on Yen Tu mountain. — VNS