Sept. 18, 2022 Live from the road

New York City

Reported by Salil Wilson 1.0 mi

Today was a very special day, we were honored to have a visit from H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, former President and Prime Minister of Timor-Leste as well as Eminent Person of g7+. Ranjana Ghose, President of the Sri Chinmoy Centre, graciously hosted the event at Aspiration Ground, headquarters of the Sri Chinmoy Centre.

Enjoy a video of this remarkable occasion.

Accompanying Xanana were Dr. Helder da Costa, General Secretary of g7+ (seen in photo) and others of the g7+ staff below.

Ms. Eulalia Serpa, - Liaison Officer, g7+.

Ms. Helche Silvester - Media and Communication Officer, g7+.

The g7+ is an intergovernmental organisation of 20 countries affected by conflict and fragility. The g7+ provides a platform to member countries to collectively advocate for better approaches of supporting peace building and state building efforts in countries affected by conflict and fragility.

H.E. Gusmão’s role has been important in establishing and supporting the g7+. He has represented the group in high level missions and other forums.

Salil Wilson, Executive Director of the Peace Run, welcomed everyone.

We had a parade of nations, among the many nationalities Mahatapa represented India.

Sumanas from Hungary and Parichayaka from Austria.

Helche represented Timor-Leste.

Our choir performed a song Sri Chinmoy's composed for Timor-Leste on January 29 2004. The following day , Jan 30, 2004 flying from Bali Sri Chinmoy visited Dili and was presented with the Medal of Freedom, Timor-Leste’s highest honour.

Words to the song composed by Sri Chinmoy.

Timor Leste, Timor Leste, Timor!
No more bondage-shackles, no more.
Freedom-winner, freedom, freedom —
Your clime is a promise-kingdom.
Progress-whispers from the Golden Shore.
The world attention your heart-door.

Xanana offers the choir his sincere appreciation.

Harashita Sunaoshi, Director of the Peace Run in Asia, arranged for group to share some of the inspiring quotes on Peace and Forgiveness from both Xanana Gusmão and Peace Run founder Sri Chinmoy.

“A true peace in East Timor should afford at a material level the conditions for the liberation of the spirit!”
– Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão

“Spirit will flower by awakening and energising Matter to become a perfect basis of physical immortality and human transformation on earth.”
– Sri Chinmoy

Medur from Canada read these quotes, “All the acts of our people, their cultural manifestations, and even life, are destined to consecrate, to honour, to worship Mother Earth as life.”
– Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão

“Your genuine love of nature enables and entitles you to receive special love, concern, favour and blessings from the Universe, the Universal Life and the Universal Mother.”
– Sri Chinmoy

Lunthita shared, “Forgiveness to me means peace of mind. If we can forgive, we liberate ourselves from all bad sentiments of revenge and of self-flagellation. If we forgive, we say, ‘No! Now I am entering a new phase of my life.’ If not, I live every day the sense that I am the worst victim in the world. ‘God, why me? Why did it happen to me and not to other people?’”
– Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão

“Forgiveness Is
The ultimate victory.”
– Sri Chinmoy

“Happiness Looms large
In forgiveness.”
– Sri Chinmoy

Mallikarjun from India read, “This day marks once and for all times the end of our long suffering and today, too, we affirm our sovereignty as a people.”
– Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão

“Your suffering knew no bounds. Again, it is you who will be able to offer joy and happiness to the world...After the darkest night, we see the beauty and light of day.”
– Sri Chinmoy

Nikolaus from Austria shared a quote from President Ramos-Horta on the occasion of his accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, “Through Xanana I bow to my people with profound respect, loyalty and humility because they are the martyrs, the real heroes and peace-makers.” On another occasion, Ramos-Horta stated, “I tell you this and I tell you frankly: Xanana is the most extraordinary human being I have met in my life and I have met many, many great people.”

Salil and Nikolaus shared an amusing story of Xanana playfully slapping Nikolaus in the stomach as he introduced himself at a ceremony in Dili the capital of Timor-Leste.

Xanana and Ranjana found the story amusing.

Agraha told of Xanana's enthusiastic support for the installation of Sri Chinmoy's statue on the grounds of the Timorese National parliament building.

Eric Petersen, Senior Law Firm Partner and Editor of Light and Liberty, a book of Thomas Jefferson’s inspirational writings delivered a speech likening Xanana's life of freedom fighting and subsequent service in nation building to that of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Maun Boot (meaning elder brother, as he is affectionately referred to in Timor-Leste) Xanana shared the challenges that many g7+ Member States are facing in achieving peace and stability by impact of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. He emphasized that the g7+ is in solidarity with the people in Ukraine as they have lived through the bitter experiences of war, conflict, and displacement. He called for the international community to have more dialogue to immediately put an end to the war that has sent a shockwave of fragility to the rest of the world.

Xanana led us in a prayerful peace walk at Aspiration Ground.

Our choir sang our Thank you song which Xanana spontaneously and very ably conducted.

We retired to Pilgrim Museum for a delicious Indian meal.

Later in the afternoon we headed over to the 3100 mile race which is taking place about three blocks from Aspiration Ground. Xanana presented ice-cream to the runners. Here's Stephen Redfern from Sydney receiving his.

Andrea from Italy.

Watching the runners wasn't enough for Xanana, he wanted to experience it.

So he walked a lap.

Greeting one of the race directors Bipin Larkin.

Final photo in the afternoon sun before heading back to Manhattan, where our guests have a very busy upcoming week with the United Nations General Assembly.

Torch carried by
Agraha Levine (United States), Bhashwar Hart (United States), Dhanu Alaimo (United States), Harashita Sunaoshi (Japan), Harita Davies (New Zealand), Homagni Baptista (Australia), Lunthita Duthely (United States), Mahatapa Palit (Bangladesh), Medur Wilson (Canada), Nikolaus Drekonja (Austria), Salil Wilson (Australia), Tanima Bossart (United States), Vrishaketu Pelletier (Canada).  
Photographers
Bhashwar Hart, Dhanu Alaimo, Lunthita Duthely
The torch has travelled 1.0 mi in New York City.

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