Lighting Lamps in Sri Lanka
Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, UPF Secretary General
Colombo, Sri Lanka
May 31, 2006
On May 31 Mother Moon and her party arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and were received by Ambassador D. L. Mendis and his wife, a representative of the Sri Lankan president’s office, Rev. and Mrs. Lim, Mr. Thilairajan, and Dr. Robert Kittel.
Sri Lanka, an island nation just southeast of India, has been plagued by internal conflict since 1983 between a majority Buddhist Sinhalese population and a minority Hindu Tamil minority seeking independence. Sri Lanka is in need of peace. The main event was attended by 500 dignitaries and included a formal lighting of lamps by representatives of all the major religious traditions in Sri Lanka. Dancers performed a traditional Sri Lankan dance, and Dr. Mendis, a former ambassador from Sri Lanka to the United Nations, performed two violin pieces. In his welcoming remarks, he spoke highly about the life and work of Mother Moon.
The Speaker of the Parliament, W.J.M. Lokubandara, said, “I warmly welcome Drs. Hak Ja Han Moon and Hyun Jin Moon to our country to speak on strengthening the family. It is a very kind gesture, at this critical time in the world’s history, to educate people to achieve world peace by strengthening the family. It is amazing to know that they are visiting 180 countries to promote peace through dialogue among civilizations, creating harmony among all religions of the world, based on family unity. One of the core principles of the UPF is living for the sake of others. This theme for the world tour is universal and timely.”
During the program the audience was generally quiet and reserved. Afterwards Dr. Kittel and Dr. Thomas G. Walsh went around visiting each of the 60 banquet tables. As they approached each table, the guests’ eyes lit up and sparkle with delight as they expressed great appreciation.