The Launch Ceremony.Video of the Launch Ceremony
The Launch Ceremony.Hear what the experts say
All over the world experts from various fields share their opinions on this inovative concept.Read what the people say
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Introducing the idea Silas says— “Garland of Peace, hopes to become an instrument of peace education for the new generation, an expression of peace tourism, and a framework for ensuring peace. Peace is the base on which any human development can only take place. Peace is the foundation for realization of dreams. Peace is life!”
Honb’le Mr Oscar Fernandes: former Union Cabinet Minister, representing the political leadership of India: “I feel if you don’t want to be going into pieces you will have to don peace…otherwise the world would go into pieces. Sandeep has given a brilliant idea that if you want to fight a war before that, before launching the war, go and see a war site. You want to avoid the next war, you want to avoid Hiroshima-Nagasaki, you visit Hiroshima-Nagasaki, you visit Kalinga. This is the only remedy for us to avoid the world going into pieces. It is the beginning of a thought process. Let us carry it forward. To save the world going into pieces you have to don peace.”
Raj Liberhan, Director India Habitat Centre representing the civil society: “Wonderful initiative, which Sandeep has put together. Many of us are largely peace oriented and do think about peace all the time, want peace, aspire for peace, but it takes a great deal of imagination and courage to put an initiative like this in place. Howsoever a small step it may be, but a collection of small steps always brings you to the point where the last step becomes a giant leap. And that’s what this initiative expresses.”
Mrs. Sudha Pillai, the senior most civil servant in India, a Kennedy School alumnus expresses: “I am happy to be here on this historic occasion. I have a feeling that we will remember this warm bright sunny evening and remember it for the fact that it started a trend and this trend actually caught up. The young have not seen war, we have. This idea requires a musical communication and I hope there will be people who will actually pen down songs about it and then translate them and make them as popular.”
Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Arch-Diocese of Delhi, who participated as the higher clergy said: “This new concept of Garland of Peace is really very attractive because we are all used to the concept of ‘Forgive and forget’. Whereas this Garland of Peace is taking another aspect of reality that is ‘Forgive but don’t forget’. Don’t forget so that such tragedies may not be repeated. It is a very great imagination and it is indeed a new dream. I congratulate Sandeep Silas for taking this initiative for this peace movement.”
Many distinguished US experts on conflict resolution and the higher echelons in UN system have expressed hope in this idea:
Here is what they have said:
Prof. Catherine Bertini, former World Food Programme Executive Director for ten years, and Under Secretary-General in the UN considered the project very interesting and piloted it within the UN system.
Emeritus Prof. Louis Kreisberg, who established conflict resolution as a discipline of study says: “Your presentation of the concept is quite moving. There is something there worth discussing and building upon. As you recognize, there is the concern that in many cases these sites are still matters of contention and willful inattention. Often atrocities are hidden and denied by some governments and communities. Yet, overcoming that can be a step toward a greater degree of reconciliation and improved relations. This requires creative work by the peoples concerned, usefully with some external facilitation and consultation. Sites that are well recognized, often express a narrow focus. What is needed to turn a war site into a peace site?”
UN Under Secretary-General Peter Piot writes that the “idea is very creative.”
Former UN Under Secretary-General Edward Mortimer and speech-writer to former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan writes: “Splendid peace heritage idea! As I said, I think an excellent symbol for this would be the restored triumphal arch in Munich with its beautifully laconic inscription:
AM SIEG VERWEIHT (TO VICTORY DEDICATED)
VOM KRIEG ZERSTOERT (BY WAR DESTROYED)
ZUM FRIEDEN MAHNEND (FOR PEACE A WARNING).”
Prof. Catherine M. Gerard, Associate Director of Executive Education Programs and Director of the Program For the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, New York, says: “The Vietnam generation is out, the second world war generation is almost out. The time for this idea has now come.”
Dr. Karan Singh, President, Indian Council of Cultural Relations and former Union Minister in Government of India: “There will be hundreds of such sites”.
Dr. Kapila Vatsayayana, a renowned international expert on culture and Member UNESCO Committee on Heritage, told Silas in a conversation after watching the presentation: “You are attempting to change the memory of war, the human cognition. I am with you. Run to the Prime Minister and request him to take it to the UN. The moral prestige of India will reach the heights of Swami Vivekananda days.”
Ms. Bhaswati Mukherjee, Permanent Representative of India to the UNESCO writes: “The proposal is interesting and innovative and closely linked to conflict resolution, peace education and peace building. These issues would need to be discussed among interested delegations in the UN General Assembly in New York.”