You will soon return to your homes in peace

Alabama, United States
20th April 2009

Bangalore: Art of Living Founder and humanitarian His Holiness Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar concluded his three-day peace mission to Sri Lanka assuring the displaced Tamils that they would return in peace to their homes very soon.

“A new dawn is in the offing. Stay calm and peaceful. The Art of Living Foundation & I are right with you in your hour of need.” - Gurudev said after visiting a camp for Internally Displaced People (IDP) in Vavunia, Sri Lanka.

Gurudev's visit gave vent to suppressed emotions and also gave a ray of hope that someone cared for them. An engineer in one of the camps said, "We will lose our mind, we are going crazy as we are here for four months."

During his visit, Gurudev also met with the President of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Mahinda Rajapakse and conveyed the desire of the Tamils to return to their homes soon.

“The untold suffering of the Tamils will make any heart bleed. A place that has never seen beggars has to beg for water, food, clothes and for life itself” he said.

He also appealed to the President to avoid long stay of Tamils in the IDP camps. “Pregnant women, the elderly, the rich, the poor,they are all languishing in these camps” He said.

Earlier in Colombo, His Holiness was honoured by Venerable Bellanwilla Wimalaratana Thero, chancellor of Sri Jayawardhanapura University and a number of Sinhalese Buddhist monks and lay people. The Chancellor expressed his happiness on Gurudev`s visit and said that this augurs well for the people of Sri Lanka.

As part of his peace mission, Gurudev also met up with several dignitaries including Opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe, American Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert Blake, Ministers in the Sri Lankan cabinet and Parliamentarians with a notable exception being the Indian Ambassador to Sri Lanka.