Sri Sri Ravishankar in peace talk with LTTE

via published on September 24, 2006

Kolkata, Sept 24: Even as Norway is engaged with the Sri Lankan government for a solution to the Tamil problem, Indian spiritual guru Sri Ravishankar has begun talks with the LTTE in the quest for a lasting peace in the island country.

“Yes, Sri Ravishankar is currently talking with the LTTE for a lasting solution to the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka. He is a member of the committee for peace for Sri Lanka formed by the Mahabodhi Society of India,” president of the city-based society B K Modi said.

With Modi as the convener, the 13-member committee also included, among others, the Dalai Lama’s representative Ven. Lhakdor, Swami Chidananda Saraswati, Archbishop of Mumbai Vincent Concessao and the Dewan of Ajmer Sharif.

According to Modi, the committee had already completed a fact-finding mission in Sri Lanka and Sri Ravishankar’s talks with the LTTE was the second step. “He is a Tamil and this is proving helpful in continuing the dialogue.”

Besides the LTTE, we are opening dialogues with the Sri Lankan government and all sections of people in that country.

The committee’s initiative is being supported by the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka and various political parties in that country, he said.

Informing that the Mahabodhi society will be holding a two-day world Buddhist Leaders’ Council at Sarnath from December 18 to discuss important issues in resolving conflicts, Modi said that the society’s initiatives in Sri Lanka would also come up for discussions at the council.

Recalling that the Mahabodhi Society was founded in the 19th century by a Sri Lankan monk Aanagarika Dhammapala with a view to establishing world peace, Modi said that as such, the society had a role in bringing about peace in Sri Lanka.

“Peace is the forte of Buddhism. A new chapter in peace will now have to be opened by spiritual and business people,” Modi, chairman of managament group Modicorp, said.

As part of its development initiative, the committee is in the process of distributing artificial limbs to the landmine victims in the conflict-ridden Jaffna area.

Expressing reservations about Norway’s engagement with the Sri Lankan government, Modi said it was aimed at gaining control of a deep sea ports in Sri Lanka.

“It is one of the very few such ports in the world and Norway wants to control it. Why else should Norway of all countries be so interested in Sri Lanka?” He said, adding that the Mahabodhi Society’s initiatives were aimed at nothing else than bringing about lasting peace in the island country.

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