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NOBEL SANTOS1-2016Dharamshala — His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet congratulates Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on receiving the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee awarded Santos "for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end."

Soon after the announcement that the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize had been awarded to Juan Manuel Santos, the President of Colombia, His Holiness the Dalai Lama praised President Santos for his unwavering efforts to bring an end to 52 years of civil war in his country.

In his congratulatory letter , the spiritual leader of Tibet said: "This award is a tribute to your tireless efforts to promote peace in Colombia, regardless of how difficult the prospects may have seemed when you began."

"I am deeply encouraged by the steadfast determination with which you have continued to work for reconciliation and peace despite the setbacks that have arisen on the way. Clearly what is important is to continue to strive for the goal until we succeed," His Holiness said.

"I remain confident that before long the spirit of dialogue, mutual understanding and respect you have fostered will bear fruit and usher in a new era of peace and prosperity for Colombia," said the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

In a press conference held at the presidential palace in Bogota, Colombia, Santos said he dedicated the prize to the people of Colombia, particularly those who "have suffered in this war that we are on the verge of ending."

The 65-year-old Colombian president was recognized for tireless efforts to end the chronic violence that has gripped his South American country for decades. The deal he helped negotiate would have given the rebel forces substantial inducements to join the political process.

Those willing to hand over their weapons and admit to war crimes would not have received prison sentences, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia would have been granted 10 seats in congress for the next decade to give the group known as FARC a foothold in national politics.

In an interview for the Nobel Committee website, Santos stated "It's simply a matter of believing in a cause and there is no better cause for any society, for any country, than living in Peace."

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