Peace Museum

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Records of the life-long, non-violent efforts of the founder of the Vishva Niketan International Peace Centre and the President of the Sarvodaya Movement Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne to develop a new social structure through Sarvodaya are displayed in the Peace Museum.

How Ariyaratne became a household name is well understood when going through the material available in the Peace Museum. Honorary degrees conferred by numerous universities and testimonials of appreciation from rural communities are found side by side in the museum.

Among the international honours he received are:

  1. The bronze Buddha statue from Kathmandu, Nepal
  2. The Magsaysay Award from the Philippines
  3. The King Baudouin Award bestowed by King Baudouin of Belgium
  4. The Niwano Peace Prize awarded by the Niwano Foundation in Japan
  5. The Mahatma Gandhi Peace Prize awarded by the Indian government

Among the local honours are:

  1. “Deshabandu” – conferred by a former President of Sri Lanka
  2. “Prasadini” – conferred by a former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
  3. “Sri Lankhabhimanya” – conferred by the current President of Sri Lanka

Many other awards from various organisations along with numerous mementos gifted by the Sarvodaya Shramadana Societies and other organizations can also be found among these tributes in the showcases gifted by the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation.

One stepping into this museum would not fail to observe the noble work of a single human being who untiringly worked for the poor and the neglected in society.