Gurudev played a crucial role in ending the 53-year-long conflict between Colombian rebel group FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the Colombia government. He was responsible for getting FARC leaders to negotiate with the government in 2015 at a time when they were resisting all interventions by the international community.
The rebel group which has been waging a guerrilla war for five decades that claimed more than 220,000 lives and displaced over 7 million people was eventually convinced to announce a unilateral ceasefire.
“Thank you for everything you (Sri Sri) 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 will be grateful forever,” said H.E. President Santos to Sri Sri after the signing of the peace agreement between the FARC and the Colombian government in Cartagena de Indias on September 26, 2016.
During his visit to Colombia, Sri Sri also addressed a group of 500 social leaders inviting them to cultivate inner peace and support the peace process. In his meeting with the Minister of Post Conflict, Rafael Pardo he discussed ways to build peace and reconciliation.
Gurudev’s intervention is openly credited for this historic transition, which not only brought the Nobel Peace Prize for Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos but also led to FARC turning into a political party.
The political launch, attended by thousands of delegates including former commanders Ivan Marquez, Rodrigo Londono and Pablo Catatumbo, saw the FARC leadership highlighting the role played by Gurudev and called it a miracle.
“Meeting Sri Sri and The Art of Living was truly a miracle. We will show that we will fulfill the promise we made to him to follow the Gandhian principle of non-violence,” a former FARC commander shared.
Gurudev is also actively involved in the reconciliation process which has been emotionally difficult for affected parties.
“With the help of Gurudev, we have placed our spirit to achieve reconciliation and coexistence of a big and benevolent country, whose destiny can’t be that of war. The teachings of The Art of Living are essential to achieving a stable and long-lasting peace,” said Ivan Marquez, who is now a leader of the newly-launched 111-member political party that replaces the former FARC.