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Award for Kuldip Nayar

COLOMBO. FEB. 28. Kuldip Nayar, veteran journalist and MP, was this evening presented with the prestigious Astor Award for Press Freedom at the Commonwealth Press Union (CPU) biennial conference held in Colombo.

Presenting the award, the Hon. Philip Astor, son of Lord Astor, former owner of The Times, London, described Mr. Nayar as one of the most renowned Indian journalists. ``Few people in South Asia can be said to have upheld the independence of the journalist over such a long period and with such consistency as Mr. Nayar,'' he said. The citation went on to say that ``also a lawyer, MP and human rights and media rights activist, his illustrious career has spanned five decades''. The surprise announcement of the award for Mr. Nayar at the concluding reception of the CPU conference, organised by the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka, took him by surprise and visibly moved him.

Accepting the award, Mr. Nayar spoke of his dream of the South Asian region, from Afghanistan to Myanmar, becoming one common market with the countries retaining their sovereignty. He hoped his dream could be reached in his own lifetime.

The Astor Award for Press Freedom was instituted in 1970 by the late Lord Astor, former CPU president. Earlier recipients include C.R. Irani, Arun Shourie and Arnold Raphael of the U.K.

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