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Retd Guwahati Archbishop makes cover story

By C. M. Paul
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Guwahati, Sep. 16.  Outstanding champion for peace and communal harmony, retired Salesian archbishop Thomas Menamparampil of Guwahati is featured on the cover page of September 2013 issue of ''The Northeast WINDOW'', a magazine published from Dimapur, Nagaland.

The four page cover story is replete with pictorial illustrations documenting the soft spoken archbishop's peace and reconciliation efforts in conflict ridden northeast India.
Abp Thomas acted as mediator in the conflict between the various ethnic groups and coordinates the ''Joint Ecumenical Peace Team'', which is committed to dialogue in Northeast India and has been proven an effective organisation at resolving local conflicts.

Over a period of 15 years during his tenure as archbishop of Guwahati, Abp Thomas and his Peace Team has successfully led seven major peace initiatives -- Bodo-Adivasi in 1996, Kuki-Paite in 1998, Dimasa-Hmar in 2003, Karbi-Kuki in 2003, Dimasa-Karbi in 2004, Bodo-Muslim at Udalguri in 2010 and Rabha-Garo in 2011.

Next month (October 2013), Abp Thomas will be conferred an Honorary Doctorate from Universita' Urbaniana in Rome for his outstanding contribution for promotion of cross cultural thought, and peace promotion in areas of ethnic conflict.

The June 2011 issue of a popular Italian magazine 'Il Bollettino Salesiano' published a four-page cover story on Abp Thomas entitled 'A Bishop for Nobel Prize' nominating the archbishop for the Nobel Peace Prize. The nomination recognized his continued commitment to have peace, reconciliation and stability in Northeast India, an area full of territorial and ethnic conflicts.

The indefatigable messenger of peace who was awarded the Maschio Lifetime Achievement Award 1998 by the Maschio Memorial Foundation (MMF) Mumbai says, ''awards do not matter while carrying out peace initiatives. I will continue my mission for peace irrespective of whether I get any recognition or award. The need of the hour is adopting a non-confrontational attitude, tolerance and respect for each other for lasting peace in society,'' the Archbishop said.  



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