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Cambodian Monks Praise UN's Decision to Honor Gandhi

The UN's decision to honor Indian peace advocate Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, Oct. 2, as the International Day of Non-Violence honors a major political and spiritual leader, a leading Cambodian monk said this week.

"Gandhi was a pioneer of 'satyagraha,' or resistance through mass non-violence and civil disobedience," said Venerable Natha Pandito Rithipol, secretary-general of the Maha Ghosananda International Buddhist Peace Foundation, in the US state of Massachusetts.

The Buddhist Peace Foundation was created to honor Cambodian's renowned peace advocate, Maha Ghosananda, who died earlier this year.

Ghosananda was among a long line of leaders who followed Gandhi's philosophies, such as Martin Luther King, the American civil rights activist, Nelson Mandela, the South African rights advocate, and Aung San Suu Kui, a democracy activist under house arrest in Burma.

"Satyagraha remains one of the most potent philosophies in freedom struggles throughout the world today," Venerable Rithipol said.