Jan. 7, 2016 Live from the road


Reported by Agraha Levine, Salil Wilson

This morning we were deeply honoured to meet Hon Anġlu Farrugia, Speaker of the House of Representatives for the Parliament of Malta. Dr. Farrugia very kindly hosted our Peace Run delegation in the very new and beautiful House of Parliment. The building was designed by award-winning Italian architect and engineer Renzo Piano and was opened on May 4, 2015.

Dr. Farrugia shared with us a deeply inspiring speech quoting from Einstein, Spinoza and Mahatma Ghandhi all of whom have informed his reflections on peace and how we can work together to make peace a reality.

Dr. Farrugia enthusiastically welcomed us, speaking highly of the Peace Run and recognising Sri Chinmoy's service to the United Nations through his twice weekly offerings of Peace Meditations for staff and delegates at the United Nations for over 35 years.

Encouraging our endeavours with the Peace Run, Dr. Farrugia went on to say, "This initiative, to bring together national leaders and ordinary citizens from all over the world to share a common goal of having a non-violent world has now transformed into an important global campaign that honours the deeds that place compassion, cooperation and understanding at the centre of a more inclusive and peaceful coexistence."

Dr. Agraha shared some of the history of Sri Chinmoy's blossoming relationship with Malta and many of its notable leaders and citizens from 1991 until his passing in 2007, highlighting in particular the dedication of Malta as the very first Sri Chinmoy Peace-Blossom-Nation--an initiative which grew to include over 150 nations.

Dr. Farrugia had very kindly arranged for the plaque to be on display at our ceremony. In part the plaque reads:

World's First Sri Chinmoy Peace-Blossom-Nation

Malta, Jewel of the Mediterranean, hallowed land where continents meet and cultures blend in perfect harmony. Throughout the sweep of centuries, from their smallness-land the people of Malta have courageously defended the entire free world and within their vastness-heart they have lovingly embraced the entire humanity.

Our choir then performed the song Sri Chinmoy composed for Malta.

We offered Dr. Farrugia the words to the song.

Malta, O Superpowers’ fondness-nest,
You bring to the fore every nation’s very best.
In you, the world faiths have found their oneness-choice;
In a smallness-body, earth-illumination-voice.

Dr. Farrugia enthusiastically and expertly sight read it and sang along with the choir.

Peace Run Executive Director, Salil Wilson, drew some smiles by observing Dr. Farrugia's musical capacity and suggested he may wish to join the choir.

Salil went on to recognise the important role the Maltese Parliament plays on the world stage. He quoted a line of Sri Chinmoy's song for Malta: "You bring to the fore every nation’s very best." Salil commented that this can only be done by example and that Malta is a pioneering nation which lights the way for the rest of the world to follow.

Salil added that while Malta may not be an economic or military super-power, we feel that Malta is a super power of the heart.

In recognising and celebrating Malta's service to the world-community, we were honoured to be able to present the Peace Run Torch-Bearer award to Dr. Farrugia and the entire House of Representatives of Malta.

Mr. Adhiratha Keefe, long-time staff at UNICEF and several other UN agencies, presented the award.

Marc Voelckner, Director of Peace Run Malta, gave us an outline of the Peace Run events which will be unfolding in the coming days.

Conveying a powerful message of unity, Dr. Farrugia held the torch with members from both major parties: Opposition Whip Hon. Frederick Azzopardi MP (right) and Hon. Chris Agius MP - Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport (left).

We posed for a photograph with the choir.

Standing with the Peace-Nation Plaque.

Agraha presented Dr. Farrugia with some of Sri Chinmoy's artwork.

Dr. Farrugia generously presented us with a memento of our visit, an exquisite silver plate.

Hon. Chris Agius MP - with his Personal Assistant Jonathan Barbara and another assistant Beverly Saliba.

Marc Voelckner spoke with the media to explain what is happening with the Peace Run in Malta in the coming days.

Outside the new Parliament House.

Afterwards we visited the Peace-Blossom-Nation Plaque that Sri Chinmoy inaugurated in 1998 with then Speaker of the House Mme. Myriam Spiteri Debono.

Torch carried by
Abarita Danzer (Switzerland), Adhiratha Keefe (United States), Agraha Levine (United States), Ambarish Keenan (Ireland), Anjali Das (United States), Apaguha Vesely (Czech Republic), Ashirvad Zaiantchick (Brazil), Chetana Hein (United States), Dhanu Alaimo (United States), Frederic Ashcharjya Gat (France), Kalavati Kolesnichenko (Russia), Kanala Bolvanska (Slovakia), Karteek Clarke (Great Britain), Laufey Haraldsdottir (Iceland), Mahatapa Palit (Bangladesh), Mangala Keenan (Ireland), Medur Wilson (Canada), Mridanga Spencer (Great Britain), Nandita Polissar (United States), Nayak Polissar (United States), Nivedak Corradini (Italy), Prachar Stegemann (Australia), Pranlobha Kalajian (United States), Premananda Klaile (Finland), Purnahuti Wagner (Guatemala), Purna-Samarpan Querhammer (Germany), Salil Wilson (Australia), Sanjay Rawal (India), Savita Shivaji (United States), Shatapatri Mahar (Canada), Tirtha Voelkner (Germany), Udbhasita Mášková (Czech Republic).  
Apaguha Vesely, Dhanu Alaimo

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