Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne bid farewell to the nation with state honours…

The eulogy given by Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, when the last rites of Dr A. T. Ariyaratne, the founder of »Sarvodaya’ were performed with state honours at the Independence Square, Colombo on 20.04.2024 -

"The demise of Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, whom we remember with respect, has left a huge gap in the nation.

Everyone all over the country as well as internationally has united to share this grief.

Mr. A.T. Ariyaratne is receiving the state honours today as a result of the uniqueness of his life.

Mr. Ariyaratne’s life was completely committed to the welfare of the people. The mission he accomplished to bring happiness to the lives of the people who were suffering, and to end the suffering of human society is valuable.

Travelling to various villages of the country, Dr. Ariyaratne has given effective leadership to an exemplary programme that can be remembered forever.

Dr. Ariyaratna was a noble man who gave a meaning, activeness and initiative to ’Shramadana’ (sharing labour} where he is remembered with utmost respect today.

That magnanimity gave the countrymen the greatest activity of human capital that can change a human society.

Mr. Ariyaratne, tens of thousands of lives changed by sharing labour- that programme that have started claiming the human virtues of our society across the country. It was your leadership that gave rights to people who had no rights until then, and the ’Sarvodaya movement’. It is the huge shade given to the people of our country to come out of poverty and to enter a path full of virtues by combining all these norms. It was you who led those activities as an example across the country.

In this moment you bid farewell to us today, I would like to remember and mention that the great social transformation that could be achieved by Sarvodha Movement was achieved due to your own leadership.

That is why the government announced this day of mourning to pay this honour you.

Without any political parties, government departments or government institutions, you led the silent leadership of that great force for the betterment of the people.

It should be mentioned that you did not have anything inherited to make you go through that gigantic challenge.

Dr. A. T. Ariyaratna offered the norm of human virtue that can be carried forward on the basis of public trust and public interest through this movement.

That is why we can introduce Mr. A.T. Ariyaratne as an exemplary noble man to our countrymen and honour him.

The movement that has been launched starting with the virtues of exemplary independent humanity has become a force that every village in the country, citizens and government institutions listen to.

It is at such a time that you bid farewell to us. Dear Dr. Ariyaratne, today we respect the life that you have gifted us.

That honour is remembered today in order to take that example to the future society.

The government would like to offer you the highest honour at this moment. Eminent Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, we wish you the supreme bliss of nibbana remembering your services as a proud idol of our country."

Maha Sangha including Ven. Waleboda Gunasiri Thera, Anu Nayaka Thera of Sri Lanka Ramanna Maha Nikaya, clergy of all religions, have delivered sermons, and the message of condolence by President Ranil Wickremesinghe was delivered by Minister Bandula Gunawardena. Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa, Rohana Hettiarachchi, Chairman of Paffrel organization for the Civil Society Organizations, John Kunrod for International Sarvodaya, Northern Province Governor S.P. Charles for members of Sri Lankan Sarvodaya, current Principal Iran Champika on behalf of Old Boys of Nalanda College, Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne on behalf of family members have addressed the gathering. The Speaker of Sri Lanka Parliament, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Ministers and MPs including Eran Wickramaratne, A.H.M. Fowzie, Yadamini Gunawardena, Ambassadors, government officials and many Sarvodaya activists from around the island were present on this occasion.

Prime Minister’s Media