Living Legends

Daisaku Ikeda

 

Born January 2, 1928

 

Daisaku Ikeda is a Japanese peace builder, philosopher, and activist. Coming of age during World War II, Ikeda is widely praised for his efforts to rebuild a culture of peace in Japan and to rebuild Sino-Japanese relations after the war. To do so, he founded numerous educational and peace-building institutions, and he is now an honorary citizen of over 800 municipalities. An accomplished author in his own right, Ikeda is also widely recognized for publishing seventy-five dialogues with other peace-pertinent people.

 

Tenzin Gyatso — "The 14th Dalai Lama"

 

Born July 6, 1935

 

The 14th Dalai Lama, known as Tenzin Gyatso, was born in independent Tibet and recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama at age two. At fifteen, Tenzin assumed political power in Tibet as Communist China invaded, annexed Tibet, and accelerated the need for his leadership. Coming of age during tumultuous times, the 14th Dalai Lama has steadfastly maintained his commitment to peace and nonviolence. He traveled to Beijing in 1954 to meet with Mao Zedong before escalating repression forced his exile to India where he remains today. Tenzin is one of the greatest living advocates of both freedom and peace, and the recipient of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize.

 

Aung San Suu Kyi

 

Born June 19, 1945

 

For decades, Aung San Suu Kyi has peacefully campaigned for liberalization in Myanmar despite continued persecution. She was put under house arrest in 1990 following an election that would have made her the head of state, and awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Finally, following the 2015 elections, Suu Kyi was elected as head of state though she was removed after the 2020 elections by a military coup. She is currently imprisoned by the military regime yet she has been criticized by global powers for failing to stand up to the regime which imprisons her.

 

Lai Chee-ying — Jimmy Lai

 

Born December 8, 1947

 

Lai Chee-ying, known as Jimmy Lai, was born in China and fled to Hong Kong as a child where he became a highly successful entrepreneur. Lai founded a publishing house in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre which published, among other items, the liberal Apple Daily newspaper. In 2021, the Chinese Communist Party forced the Apple Daily to close,  arrested Jimmy Lai and froze his assets.

 

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Stay tuned as we unveil more Living Legends of Liberal Peace in the coming weeks and months. Feel free to reach out on social media or via email to make a suggestion!