Thich Quang Do

         Most Venerable THICH QUANG DO, secular name Dang Phuc Tue, is Patriarch of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, and a leading advocate of religious freedom, human rights and democracy. Recipient of the Norwegian 2006 Rafto Prize and laureate of the World Movement for Democracy's 2006 Democracy Courage Tribute, he has won worldwide recognition for his non-violent combat for freedom in Vietnam. His refusal to be silenced by intimidation, imprisonment and internal exile for almost three decades has inspired Vietnamese of all generations and helped them to overcome fear. Thich Quang Do is the first person to forge links of solidarity between dissidents from the north and south, thus bridging a decades-long geographical and ideological divide. He is also an eminent scholar, former lecturer in oriental philosophy and Buddhist studies, and well-known writer, with over a dozen published works including novels, poetry, translations and studies of Vietnamese Buddhism.