Marking Mahatma Gandhi's 149th birth anniversary, the leaders of United People's Liberation Army, after eight years of armed struggle, pledged to choose the way of democracy and peace to achieve their goals. It happened at the Art of Living international center in Bengaluru in the midst of 10,000 people present.
"Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shanker's vision has inspired us to look for democratic ways of fulfilling the aspirations of Karbi Anglong people. They have guided us to come to the mainstream and inspired us to see our demands with a bigger and long-term vision," explained Songsarpo Tungjang, joint secretary, in-charge, UPLA.
Members of the UPLA present in the Ashram premises included chairman Sorjon Loeh Wellesly, general secretary Songkim Engjai, publicity secretaryPhangcho, home secretary Songsarpo Tungjang, foreign secretary Mongve Senar and finance secretary Young Tungjang.
The outfit had, in a statement earlier, agreed to "suspend...armed struggle and declare a ceasefire with the State and Central Government and explore the possibilities of pursuing our demands through dialogue".
The UPLA members were accompanied by a delegation of over 35 members of National Police Foundation of the US as well as top cops, scholars and peace activists from India. Also present were members of the police, policy-makers and defence who were attending a two-day World Summit on Countering Violence and Extremism organized by The Art of Living's sister concern International Association for Human Values along with the From India With Love Project.
The conference played host to the likes of Dr Frank Straub and Dean Esserman from the National Police Foundation, Dr Makarand Paranjpe, Director, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Dr Joseph Smith, Mayor of North Miami, Charlie Allen, Institute for Economics and Peace and others.
During the two-day summit, the Brazilian Government conferred Gurudev with the title of 'Friend of Military Police of Brazil', as more than 1,000 military officials have benefited by the Art of Living's meditation workshops.
Also, a first-of-its-kind MOU was signed between Art of Living and US Police Foundation, Washington DC in the presence of Gurudev, to improve police and community relations across the United States of America. Frank Straub, Director of Strategic Studies & Centre for Mass Violence Response Studies had signed on behalf of the police.
Minister of State Hansraj Ahir, in his speech, applauded and appreciated the efforts of Sri Sri in furthering the cause of peace in Jammu & Kashmir and his initiatives to resolve the Ayodhya Ram Temple conflict in a peaceful manner.