Two distinguished Sri Lankans, Judge
Christopher Weeramantry and Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne will be
conferred the country’s highest honor, Sri Lankabhimanya, by
President Mahinda Rajapaksa at an investiture to be held at
Presidential Secretariat at 11 a.m. today (01).
The Sri Lankabhimanya (Pride of Sri
Lanka) honor which is conferred to those who have rendered
exceptionally outstanding and most distinguished service to the
nation can be held by only five Sri Lankans contemporaneously.
The current holders of this honor are President D. B. Wijetunga,
Sir Arthur C. Clarke and Dr. Lester James Peiris.
Judge Christopher Weeramantry was
recently awarded the Right Livelihood Award considered the
alternate Nobel Prize. A distinguished jurist, he was a former
judge of Supreme Court of Sri Lanka and a member and later Vice
President of the International Court of Justice.
Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne is the founder of the Sarvodaya
Movement which he has led for nearly five decades. He pioneered
the Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka and is a follower of the
Gandhian Principle of Ahimsa. Dr. Ariyaratne has received many
international accolades for his work on peaceful coexistence and
adherence to Gandhian Principles. These include the Ramon
Magsaysay Award for community leadership, Philippine (1969), the
Mahatma Gandhi Peace Prize, India (1996) and the Herbert H.
Humphrey Award, USA (1996).