Mahinda recalls Mahatma Gandhi’s famous visit to Sri Lanka

On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa offered a flower tribute to Gandhiji at a ceremony held at Temple Trees yesterday, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said today.

Deputy High Commissioner of India Mr. Vinod K Jacob represented the High Commissioner, along with other Indian diplomats.

The Birth Anniversary marked the culmination of two years of celebration of 150th year from the birth of Mahatma Gandhi.

After the ceremony, the Prime Minister queried about Mahatma Gandhi’s famous visit to Sri Lanka. Deputy High Commissioner Vinod K. Jacob recounted that Mahatma Gandhi had toured Sri Lanka extensively in 1927 from Galle to Point Pedro. In his address to students at Ananda College, Mahatma Gandhi had spoken about Gautam Buddha: “His was the right path, right speech, right thought and conduct. He gave us the unadulterated law of mercy.” The Deputy High Commissioner further noted that Buddhist principles which were a great influence on Mahatma Gandhi are also enshrined in the Indian Constitution.

The Deputy High Commissioner also conveyed gratitude to Hon. Minister Namal Rajapaksa for his tweet recalling Gandhiji’s legacy and noted that this would contribute towards acquainting young minds with Gandhian philosophy and ideals.

It has been more than seventy years since Mahatma Gandhi departed from our midst. However, his life and ideals continue to guide humanity transcending national and international boundaries, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said in a statement today.

The world today recognizes that Mahatma Gandhi’s guiding principles of Ahimsa (nonviolence), Satyagraha (the force born of truth and nonviolence) and Sarvodaya (upliftment of all) illuminate the path to deal with the challenges faced by entire humanity, from terrorism to development, climate change to governance.

To celebrate the profound legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, Government of India had decided to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi with a series of events beginning from October 02, 2018 and culminating on October 02, 2020. Events in over 100 countries around the world, including Sri Lanka, have celebrated the Great Soul and his contribution to humanity and its development. Last year, Sri Lanka Post issued two commemorative postal stamps on Mahatma Gandhi to mark his 150th Birth Anniversary.

At the event in Temple Trees in the August presence of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Lahiru Komangoda, Ms Sashi Mallikaratna, Ms Thamaransi Eranthika and Kanika Edirimana performed a soulful rendition of Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite devotional hymn ‘Vaishnav Jan To tene kahiye’ (Those people are Vaishnav, that is true devotees, who feel the pain of others).

A 42-inch bust of Gandhiji in a meditative posture, sculpted by National Awardee of India sculptor Ram Vanji Sutar, was installed at Temple Trees last year to mark the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. (Colombo Gazette)