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Dr. Ariyaratne is fooling around drinking tea from his saucer in front of the house where he was born 82 years ago. “Yes, yes Hein when the queen of England came here the local administrator didn’t know what the saucer was for. So he poured the tea from the cup on the saucer explaining that it would get cold like this. We didn’t know any etiquette down here.” And he insisted his niece to bring him a saucer so that he could show me.

He was acting as a tourist guide Friday morning last week. The rest we worked almost night and day to get the strategy done for the micro finance institute that we are supporting. The Central Bank decided the week before I came that the financial sector should consolidate. I agree with that. But the timeline to do it before March 31 is a little ambitious to say the least. So many meetings with lawyers, merchant bankers and directors to get the best out of the new situation. We’ve come up with a clear strategy and there are several foreign investors very interested in supporting the bank.

In between we meditated every morning and Ari teaches me about Buddhism. During my previous visits I got already the books. I am impressed by the depth and especially Ari’s way to apply it in transforming the society. He raised out of poverty thousands of villages and is called the Gandhi of Sri Lanka. Upcoming June a Metta (loving kindness) meditation will be organized where they expect to have 1.2 million participants.


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