Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne (5 Nov 1931 – 16 Apr 2024)

OBITUARIES, 22 Apr 2024

Bill Bhaneja - TRANSCEND Media Service

Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, Sri Lanka’s great Gandhian nonviolent peace builder, passed away at age 92. He was the founder of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement.

I was introduced to him by Prof. Glenn Paige at the Ahimsa Conference held at the Kellog University in Pomona, Calif in 2004. We subsequently met in Honolulu at the First Nonkilling Leadership Conference that led to the creation of the Center for Global Nonkilling. Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne agreed to be one of the original Sponsors providing advice and wise counsel.

With many commonalities in the thinking of the two nonviolent peace builders, Paige was deeply impressed by Dr. Ariyaratne’s practical approaches to rural development focused on villages. It was an honor to have attended the celebration of his 90th birthday on Zoom with hundreds of followers globally, transformed by his Sarvodaya movement.

From a high school teacher to a rural development practitioner to a global peacebuilding visionary, he will be long remembered. We pray for Dr. Ariyaratne’s soul to rest in peace.


Dr. Bill (Balwant) Bhaneja is a former Canadian science diplomat, a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, and author of six books and scholarly papers on politics and science. He holds a PhD in science policy from UK’s Victoria University of Manchester, currently serves as Senior Advisor to the Center for Global Nonkilling in Honolulu-Hawai’i of which he is a founding member, and produces the Nonkilling Arts Research Committee (NKARC)  Newsletter. A peace activist, his recent books include:  Troubled  Pilgrimage: Passage to Pakistan (TSAR/Mawenzi,  Toronto, 2013);  Quest for Gandhi: A Nonkilling Journey (Center for Global Nonkilling, Hawaii, 2009); and in collaboration with Vijay Tendulkar, Two Plays: The Cyclist and His Fifth Woman (Oxford University Press (India), New-Delhi, 2006). He lives in Ottawa, Canada. Email: billbhaneja@rogers.com

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 22 Apr 2024.

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