Sri Sri efforts to bring Happiness and Peace are known across the globe.
Team NV Media brings to you one of the most difficult peace deal details.
On June 24th 2016 The Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed a historic peace that pact ends a 52-year-old armed conflict. Playing an important role in the peace process was the Art of Living founder and humanitarian – Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Last year, the spiritual leader had travelled to Cuba, Havana and Colombia, talking to both the parties, building trust between them. Last year, Sri Sri travelled to Cuba to meet the representatives of FARC, including the leader of the FARC-EP delegation, Iván Márquez. His efforts resulted in a major breakthrough in June 2015 when the FARC rebels announced a unilateral ceasefire.
The story of how this came about is quite interesting.
It started when a group of Colombian volunteers came to meet Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the Art of Living Montreal ashram in Canada in October, 2014. Very quickly the discussion steered to the 52 year conflict in Colombia that had claimed over 220,000 lives. “We must do something about this”, Gurudev said and sent an Art of Living teacher from Latin America to Cuba to meet the FARC.
On 25th June 2015, Gurudev arrived in Bogota and had an hour long discussion with the President of Colombia about this issue.
During this visit, the Colombian Government conferred their highest civilian award upon Gurudev. In his speech, Gurudev said, “I promise I will do all that is in my capacity to bring peace to all in the conflict in Colombia”. Gurudev lit a peace torch in Colombia before leaving for Havana.
On 26th June, Gurudev and his entourage landed in Havana, Cuba. The meetings with the FARC took place across three consecutive days.The second-in-command of the FARC came to meet Gurudev in the first meeting. Within a few hours the leader himself was there to meet Gurudev. A connection was made. On the second day, one of the FARC leaders had this to say, “I have only heard of saints in wooden and stone figures before, but today I stand before a living saint!”
After the final meeting on the third day, 28th June, 2015, The FARC leaders declared that they will adopt the Gandhian principles of non-violence in a joint press conference with Gurudev.
Sporadic incidents of violence continued even after this declaration.
On 6th July, 2015, from Berlin, Germany, Gurudev had a telephonic conversation with the FARC leader, Ivan Marquez. Gurudev tweeted saying,“Spoke to the FARC Chief Ivan on Monday and gave him a strong message to act on his promise of non-violence and avoid disaster. Am glad he heard me and announced today a unilateral ceasefire from July 20th. I understand he needs a week to get the message out. Let us have patience. This month is a testing time to build confidence on both sides. If handled well, it will be a permanent solution.”
After this unbelievable turn of events, a journalist asked Art of Living teacher from Colombia what it was that Gurudev said to make this happen. The truth is it was not what was said, but Who said it that made all the difference.
Now, exactly a year later, The FARC has come forward to make a historic peace pact. The seeds for peace were sown in a positive atmosphere in the presence of Gurudev and they have blossomed so beautifully. This is another victory for truth, another instance where Love has moved the world!
President of Colombia H E Juan Manuel Santos said- “I met with Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in Bogota in June of last year. I had the great joy of speaking with him about the efforts he is making in our country to hopefully very soon end an internal armed conflict that has lasted more than 50 years. Later on, with my consent, he met in Hawana and Cuba with the negotiators of the FARC leaders to encourage them to follow the Gandhian principle of non-violence. Today I want to thank him for this effort.”
Hon. Hildebrando Tapia Samaniego Vice-President Andean Parliament said about Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, “Take my gratitude for the work you do all over the world. Latin America was a witness to your presence, for negotiating peace with the FARC guerillas in Cuba and having great results for peace. A historical agreement that ended years of death, killing & problems, whether material or human. Thanks to you peace is now seen because peace in Colombia, means peace for Latin America”.
This week in Colombian media – Colombian TV channel on behind the scenes story of the historic peace accord
Credit: Information from Art of Living