In Memoriam Dr. A.T Ariyaratne (1931 – 2024)

Arigatou International is deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne, founder of Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka.

Dr. Ariyaratne’s remarkable contributions to society as well as his unwavering commitment to peace, social justice and community empowerment have left an indelible mark on the world, transforming the lives of countless individuals and fostering positive change on a global scale.

Dr. Ariyaratne was a close friend of the late Rev. Takeyasu Miyamoto, founder of Arigatou International.  They both shared a vision of a more just, peaceful and sustainable world.  Dr. Ariyaratne was a founding member of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC), inaugurated in Tokyo in the year 2000. Working closely with Rev. Keishi Miyamoto, the current President of Arigatou International, Dr. Ariyaratne served as its first Regional Coordinator for the South Asia sub-region. Dr. Ariyaratne led the organization of the very first regional conference of the GNRC, demonstrating his unwavering dedication to the advancement of children’s rights and well-being.  He was also a member of the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children that helped advancing the development of Arigatou International’s Ethics Education Initiative.

Dr. Ariyaratne founded and developed the Sarvodaya Sharamadana movement through a holistic approach to development, rooted in the values of compassion, equality, and social justice. Througouth his life, Dr. Ariyaratne dedicated his efforts to uplifting rural and underprivileged communities across Sri Lanka and beyond.  Following the Buddhist principles of loving kindness, compassionate action, service to others and working in a spirit of equality, he championed interfaith collaboration in Sri Lanka to promote a peaceful resolution of the conflict, and calling for the spiritual awakeness of its people towards unity.

May his legacy continue to inspire hope and transformation for generations to come, and his teachings and principles he strived for, continue to impact local communities and individuals, including children around the world.

Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Dr. Ariyaratne’s family, friends, and all those whose lives he enriched. May his spirit live on in the hearts of all those who were fortunate enough to know him and be touched by his presence.

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