December 1, 2007
Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, founder of Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, received Sri Lankaabhimanya (Pride of Sri Lanka), country’s highest honour today. In an event at Presidential Secretariat Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapkase conferred the highest honour to Dr. Ariyaratne. Dr. Ariyaratne was recognized for exceptional honor and glory brought to the country through Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement.
The proclamation to the honour recognizes Dr. Ariyaratne’s five decades long service to upliftment of socially marginalized and oppressed, and his unwavering commitment to non-violent transformation of societies.
The proclamation reads,
“In recognition of the exceptional honour and glory brought to the motherland by his pioneering endeavors in establishing, and carrying forward for five decades, the Sarvodaya Movement for livelihood development of the socially oppressed and marginalized, and peace and co-existence; and by the many international accolades received for using his vision of Ahimsa based on Buddhist and Gandhian principles for the benefit of world community, especially in the search for peace and non-violent social transformation, a grateful and appreciative nation hereby confers on Deshabandhu Ahangamage Tudor Ariyaratne, the highest national honour of Sri Lankabhivmanya.”
The Sri Lankabhimanya honor is the highest civil honour conferred to those who have rendered exceptionally outstanding and most distinguished service to the nation. Judge Christopher G. Weeramantry also received the highest honour today. The other recipients include former Presidents Ranasinghe Premadasa and D.B.Wijethunga, Dr.Lestor James Peiris, Late Lakshman Kadirgamar and internationally well-known science fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke.
Dr. Ariyaratne has received several international awards that include Gandhi Peace Prize (India), the Hubert H. Humphrey Award (USA), Niwano Peace Prize (Japan), the King Baudouin Award for International Development (Belgium), and the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership (Philippines).
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