The Ven. Sobitha agreed to accept the award during his lifetime. The date of the award ceremony was set with his consent for November 5, 2015, but by that time he had fallen seriously ill.
The presentation of the award took place in Alapathgama at a ceremony presided over by the Speaker of Parliament, Karu Jayasuriya. Professor Sarath Wijesooriya, who heads the Movement for Social Justice that the late monk led, accepted the trophy on his behalf. NPC’s Executive Director Dr Jehan Perera affirmed NPC’s commitment to work along with the National Movement for Social Justice to make the values and concepts of good governance, inter religious pluralism and human rights reverberate throughout the country and most of all in the hearts and minds of its citizens.
The Citizens Peace Award was established in 2010 and is intended to honour and encourage those individuals in civil society who have demonstrated courage and consistency in the protection of and respect for human rights, peaceful settlement of disputes and promoting increased understanding between and among communities. Previous winners have been Dr PaikiasothySaravanamuttu (2011), Dr Nimalka Fernando (2012), J C Weliamuna (2013) and Father Harry Miller (2014).