H. E. Stjepan Mesic, President of the Republic of Croatia met H. H. Vishwaguru Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda
At the end of his two-day visit to Zagreb, capital of the Republic of Croatia, His Holiness Vishwaguruji met with Croatian President Stjepan Mesic on Wednesday, December 19, 2007. His Excellency Rajiva Misra, Ambassador of India to Croatia, and Mr. Budimir Loncar, former Yugoslavian Minister of Foreign Affairs and present Special Advisor to the President, were present at this meeting and were talking for almost one hour in a congenial atmosphere. President Mesic had a warm conversation with H. H. Vishwaguruji, sharing with him many ideas and plans. His Holiness particularly addressed some actual problematic points to the President and his advisor Mr. Loncar:
- The Yoga in Daily Life initiative for preserving of Ram Setu, the historic bridge between India and Sri Lanka;
- The difficulties for Indian residents to get a visa to Croatia;
- The critical situation of the Roma people especially in central Europe.
President Mesic showed a vivid interest in these subjects. He assured his support for the petition to the Indian Government to preserve the historical and archaeological monument of Ram Setu and that it should be declared by UNESCO officially as a World Heritage site. Furthermore, the President promised to plead for issuing visa to Indian residents less bureaucratically.
They also discussed possible ways how to grant equal rights and give opportunity for integration to the Roma people, in European countries and worldwide. The President informed Swamiji that in Croatia as the first and only country in Europe, Roma may be represented in representative bodies at local and regional levels, and elect special representatives to the Croatian Parliament. In this manner, Roma will be able to participate in all activities and decision-making on all matters important for their life.
His Holiness Vishwaguruji announced to the President that the World Peace Summit – The Message of Mahatma Gandhi and Sri Swami Madhavandananda, launched by Sri Swami Madhavananda World Peace Council (that was hosted in Zagreb in 2006), will in 2009 be organised in cooperation with Yoga in Daily Life Hungary and will deal in particular with the situation of the Roma in the conflict zones of central Europe.
His Holiness also invited the President to attend the next World Peace Summit at Wellington New Zealand, in March 2008, which is targeted especially to address the threat of climate change by creating public awareness and receptiveness for sustainable agriculture, industry, consumer behaviour and energy usage.
President Mesic expressed again his acknowledgement and appreciation of His Holiness Vishwaguruji’s work for peace and humanitarian acitivies worldwide, and Swamiji presented to His Excellency a first copy of his newest book “Selected pearls” recently printed in Croatian language.