NEW YORK (TIP): A beautiful bronze statue of Dreamer of World-Peace Sri Chinmoy was dedicated inside the grounds of the Parliament of Timor-Leste (East Timor) by President Taur Matan Ruak, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão and first Prime Minister Dr. Mari Alkatiri, February 3, a late report says. Sri Chinmoy was an enormously creative peace leader who offered peace meditations at the United Nations headquarters in New York for leaders of all nationalities, delegates and staff members twice-weekly for 37 years at the invitation of Secretary- General U Thant. He created a wide range of cultural and athletic programs involving millions of peace-lovers throughout the globe.
During the ceremony, Timor-Leste President Ruak stated, “Sri Chinmoy dedicated his life to seeking Harmony and Unity…and visited our country in 2004 to encourage our people’s effort to try to build Harmony after so many years of war and suffering…It is a great honor for the people of Timor-Leste to be awarded this Peace Statue which recognizes the Timorese people as peoples of Peace, and Timor-Leste as a World Peace symbol…”
Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão and the nation’s first Prime Minister Dr. Mari Alkatiri were each presented with the Torch-Bearer Award by Mr. Salil Wilson, Executive Director of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run. Mr. Wilson hailed the supreme sacrifices and everlasting contributions by both leaders before presenting their medallions.
After both leaders offered their gracious comments, they embraced warmly and then Prime Minister Gusmão ran with the Peace Torch from the entrance of the Parliament to Dr. Alkatiri-who then carried the torch to President Taur Matan Ruak. The top national leaders proceeded to the statue of Sri Chinmoy, which the President officially inaugurated by cutting the ribbon. The national luminaries-also including President of the Parliament Mr. Vicente Guterres and Deputy Prime Minister Fernando de Araújo-held the Peace Torch together in front of the statue in which Sri Chinmoy is offering the Peace Torch to the people of Timor Leste. The national leaders were each presented a large painting created by Sri Chinmoy and offered on behalf of Ranjana Ghose, Curator of the Jharna-Kala (Fountain-Art) Foundation, by Mr. Gangane Stefánsson, Head of UNICEF Iceland. Singers from an international choir performed a song written by Sri Chinmoy on Timor-Leste just prior to his visit in 2004. As a special treat, local Timorese children performed beautiful songs of peace in their native language of Tetung. The stirring ceremony was an official supplementary session of the Timor-Leste Parliament and attended as well by cabinet ministers, interfaith leaders and other luminaries of the nation. This statue created by British sculptor Kaivalya Torpy is the second of its kind-the first being inaugurated at a festive ceremony with Olympians and peace leaders in London as part of the Summer Olympics.