Wednesday, November 28, 2012
By Subry Govender
The Sivananda World Peace Foundation, headed by Durban businessman, philanthropist and humanitarian, Ishwar Ramlutchman, will unveil its eighth Peace Pillar at Nongqayi, Eshowe on December 4.
Peace Pillars, initiated by Ramlutchman, in KwaZulu-Natal have already been unveiled in Tongaat, Richards Bay, Phoenix, Esikhawini, Ladysmith, Pietermaritzburg, and Greytown.
The Nongqayi Peace Pillar, built of four-ton granite, will be 3,5metres high and be inscribed with prayers from the world’s major religions.
Dignitaries, including the World General Secretary of the Divine Life Society, His Holiness Sri Swami Padmanabhananda; KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize; Zulu King Goodwill Zwelethini; IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi and other leading political and community leaders will be in attendance at the historic ceremony in Eshowe.
Mr Ramlutchman said in a statement on Wednesday, November 28 that the monument was supported by the provincial heritage agency, AMAFA.
"The site where the Pillar will be erected is a National Heritage Site. Fort Nongqayi is a place of historical significance in the history of Kwazulu-Natal," he said.
Mr Ramlutchman said Peace Pillars would also be erected in Cape Town, East London, Kwa Dukuza and Mpumalanga. Another two would also be built in the neighbouring countries of Swaziland and Mozambique.
"The Sivananda Peace Pillars are a beacon of unity in diversity," he said.
"They are a source of inspiration and a reminder that peace and love should transcend our human limitations. They are a tribute to Swami Sivananda, founder of the Divine Life Society Worldwide and his disciple Swami Sahajananda.
"The Sivananda Peace Pillar is a source of inspiration. In the run-up to our government elections in the near future, peace and unity is crucial. Political and social stability are a sign of a united province and we must work hard at preserving the peace among all our citizens. The Eshowe launch is especially significant given the region’s troubled political past in the 1980s. It is a time for peace."
He said Dr Nelson Mandela and Dr Ian Player were the patrons of the Foundation having been honoured early this year.
His Holiness, the Dalai Lama of Tibet, praised Mr Ramlutchman for this noble initiative and gave his unconditional support for the project.
Mr Ramlutchman made a commitment to the late Swami Sahajananda to undertake the installation of at least eight Sivananda Peace Pillars across South Africa but had surpassed this figure.