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A.T. Ariyaratne, a Hero in Sri Lanka for Helping the Poor, Dies at 92

A.T. Ariyaratne, a Hero in Sri Lanka for Helping the Poor, Dies at 92


Ahangamage Tudor Ariyaratne was born on Nov. 5, 1931, within the city of Unawatuna, British Ceylon, because the nation was recognized earlier than it gained independence. He was the son of Ahangamage Hendrick Jinadasa, a wholesale dealer, and Rosalina Gajadheera Arachchi, who managed the family. He attended Mahinda College in close by Galle and acquired a level in economics, schooling and Sinhala from Vidyodaya University in 1968.

Years earlier than, Mr. Ariyaratne had launched into a visit that reworked him and have become the muse of his motion. In December 1958, whereas instructing science at Nalanda College, a number one secondary college in Colombo, he took 40 of his college students and 12 academics to a close-by low-caste village, Kanatoluwa, the place they spent days serving to its residents in numerous methods, together with digging wells, constructing latrines and repairing its college. Thus was born Mr. Ariyaratne’s idea of “Shramadana,” or “Gift of Labor,” a venture that grew all through the Nineteen Sixties to embody lots of of voluntary labor camps, as Mr. Bond characterised them.

Mr. Ariyaratne noticed Shramadana as transformative for each the motion’s hundreds of volunteers and the villages themselves. His objective, he wrote, was “a dynamic nonviolent revolution which isn’t a switch of political financial or social energy from one party or class to a different however the switch of all such energy to the folks.”

By the early Nineteen Seventies, he was attracting funding from the Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland. Sarvodaya grew to become the nation’s largest nongovernmental group, in response to Mr. Bond. Though clashes with the federal government over the motion’s nonviolent stance led some outdoors donors to withdraw funding for durations, Mr. Ariyaratne at all times managed to bounce again.

In addition to his son, he’s survived by his spouse, Neetha Ariyaratne; three daughters, Charika Marasinghe, Sadeeva de Silva and Nimna Ganegama; two different sons, Sadee and Diyath; 12 grandchildren; and sister, Amara Peeris.

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