Oct 8, 2016

Colombia deal won Santos Nobel, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar played key role in that pact

October 8, 2016

BENGALURU: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of The Art of Living, played an important role in the Colombian peace process for ending civil war, for which President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.
When the 52-year-old civil war formally ended with the signing of the peace agreement between Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and the Colombian government in Cartagena de Indias on September 26, Sri Sri was invited by Santos and FARC to the ceremony.

After the event, Santos told Sri Sri: "Thank you for everything you have done for the peace process. You have been a great support and friend of this process. All your help is very useful and your spiritual guidance is so important and I'll be grateful forever."
During his visit to Colombia, Sri Sri addressed 500 social activists, inviting them to cultivate inner peace and support the peace process. He also met Colombia's post-conflict Rafael Pardo and discussed ways to build peace and reconciliation.
In September, The Art of Living had facilitated a meeting between FARC leaders and the families of 12 persons who were kidnapped, held captive and finally killed by FARC (only one survived). During this meeting, families of the victims expressed their suffering to the perpetrators. The meeting ended with the families and FARC leaders holding hands and praying. "Our effort to fly victims to Havana for a forgiveness programme was important in turning the tide for a yes to the referendum in Colombia," Sri Sri had tweeted about the meeting.
Sri Sri reiterated his support to the process of reconciliation and forgiveness that Colombia embarked on after the plebiscite on October 2. "The challenge of peace in Colombia can make this nation the new Switzerland of Latin America if we work together to unite the hearts and minds of Colombians," he said.
Sri Sri has been invited to be the keynote speaker at Reconciliation Colombia in Cali on November 30.


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