Monk reaches summit of 80-mile walk
Published 13/06/2013 | 16:48
A Buddhist monk intent on bringing his campaign for nuclear disarmament to the G8 leaders has arrived in Enniskillen after walking more than 80 miles from Belfast.
Toyoshige Sekiguchi, from Japan, has spent the last nine days striding westward to Co Fermanagh carrying a banner and beating a small drum.
The G8 summit is being held at the Lough Erne Golf Resort on the outskirts of Enniskillen on Monday and Tuesday.
The 48-year-old said he has been marching for peace since 2009, and last year walked 200 miles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to the USA's G8 summit venue at Camp David in Maryland. "I am peace walking for the abolition of nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants and to promote harmony of religions," he said.
He began his march from Belfast City Hall and has stayed with friends and supporters along the way. Covering 10 miles as day, he has experienced the best and worst of Northern Ireland's summer weather, with last week's hot spell giving way to heavy rain this week.
Earlier this year he visited L'Aquila in Italy, the venue for the G8 in 2009.
Mr Sekiguchi said this year's G8 walk had not been as difficult as his USA venture last year.
"Last year I went to the USA to the Camp David G8 summit," he said. "I walked from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to the summit at Camp David. It took me around 14 days.
"At that time I carried my equipment in a rucksack, so it was a little difficult to peace march in the USA and to find the accommodation."
The peace campaigner intends to meet with representatives from Fermanagh District Council, when he will urged them to join the "mayors for peace" initiative to bring about an end to nuclear weapons.