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Congratulatory remarks during Inauguration of Korea- India Peace Park

Posted on: June 03, 2019 | Back | Print

Excellency Moon Jeok-in, Mayor of Seodaemun District,

Senior officials and residents of  Seodaemun Districts,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Anyonghashibnika.

It is indeed a pleasure to jointly inaugurate the Korea-India Peace Park and plant 150 trees at the Independence Park in Seodaemun District on this historic year, which is quite significant for both our countries.

While we in India commemorate the 150thbirth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on this special year, it is equally significant for our Korean friends as they celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Sam-il movement - a milestone event in Korea’s independence struggle.

Friends, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi or Bapu needs no introduction. This is the leader who is revered all over the world for his teachings on peace, non-violence and civil rights movements.  This is also the man who called for a sustainable development at a time when environment consciousness was not common.

Having seen the unmindful exploitation of nature in the name of development, Mahatma Gandhi called for simple and sustainable way of life.  He went beyond a mere call to practice such a way of life in his own lifetime.

He once noted that “The earth, the air, the land and the water are not an inheritance from our forefathers but a loan from our children. So we have to handover to them at least as it was handed over to us”. Gandhiji’s universal message on environment has equally inspired leaders and environmentalists across the world towards the path of conservation and protection of forest and environment.

Friends, modern day Korea is a symbol of and model for Green Growth and Afforestation.  You have succeeded in transforming a war devastated land into a green and vibrant land that is full of life through a people led movement backed by strong governmental policies on environment protection and conservation. Korea’s rapid reforestation has brought it global recognition and it has become a benchmark for international organisation for afforestation programs worldwide. Korea’s success has been based on visionary leadership and popular support as the Korean people have seen themselves as full partners in this quest for a green way of life.

Against this backdrop, the Embassy of India in Seoul and the Government of India are proud to join hands with the Seodaemun District Office in creating this Korea-India Peace Park within the historic independence park.  It is fitting that we will be planting a pine tree which is a symbol of peace and longevity and 149 Mugunghwa plants, which is the national flower of Korea and which symbolizes the strength of unit as part of this park. The number 150 is a token of our respect for Mahatma Gandhi whose 150th birth anniversary is being celebrated across the world this year.  It is also fitting that we are also inaugurating this park at the time of the World Environment Day celebrations.

I have no doubt that this park will remain a lasting symbol of our strong and historic ties and at the same time highlight our shared values of conserving our nature and environment by leading a life in harmony with nature.

I am also sure that this park will become yet another green oasis which will enrich the lives of the people of Seoul.

Let me end by expressing my heartfelt gratitude to the Mayor of Seodaemun District who has extended his wholehearted support to this initiative and to his team who have worked very hard to create this Peace Park within a very short period of time.

Thank you everyone and Khamsahamnida.