THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: "A time has come for the governments and political leaders to think of moving about without the security of armed personnel,’’ said A T Ariyaratne, founder-president of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka.
Fondly referred to as Sri Lankan Gandhi, Ariyaratne said that a true leader should be devoid of fear like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Speaking after releasing ‘Towards a non-killing world: Festschrift in honour of Prof Glend Paige’ here on Sunday, the veteran Gandhian said nobody likes to kill another one, including those in the armed forces.
"While visiting a military school, I asked the inmates there to raise their hands if they supported killings and nobody did. When I asked whether how many supported non-killing, all of them raised their hands,’’ he added.
Gandhi’s Sarvodaya Movement was introduced in Sri Lanka as an awakening in the first phase. "Later, we introduced family and village awakening programmes which were successful,’’ he added. The world should resort to peace and non-violence for sustenance.
Prof Ramdas, who introduced the book, said it was a great thesis on survival of humanity. "The book propagates the message of love humanity and brotherhood,’’ he said.
Guest of honour on the occasion and CGM of NABARD K Shasidhar said that the message of non-violence had great relevance in the world of conflicts. "India alone spends USD 36.036 billion a year for defence, which is 1.83 per cent of the GDP of the country,’’ he said. "This money could be channelised for development activities if the message of peace and love succeeds,’’ he said.