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Posted on Mar 08, 05:19AM | IANS
Kochi, March 7 : Cochin Port hosted an important guest Thursday when Archbishop Desmond Tutu - modern day apostle of peace and Nobel laureate - came calling as a tourist.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner of 1984, Tutu arrived onboard the cruise ship "Explorer" which arrived here Wednesday.
While welcoming Tutu, Paul Antony, chairman, Cochin Port, said his visit assumed significance for India since the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi started his career in South Africa, and that nation had greatly influenced Gandhi's philosophy of life.
"Nelson Mandela and me started the anti-apartheid campaign at Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, by unveiling the statue of Mahatma Gandhi. Indians have played a great role in the making of South Africa in all facets, including in cricket. South Africa's leading player Hashim Amla is an Indian and plays cricket like your Tendulkar," Tutu said.
He added that it would do a sea of good if the money spent on wars and purchasing arms is rather spent on improving the lives of the poor and the down-trodden, for providing things like clean drinking water and housing.
The cruise ship "Explorer" is the 34th cruise ship visiting the Cochin Port during the current year. It carries 800 passengers, most of whom are students and faculty from the University of Virginia, in the US, the principal sponsors of the cruise.
The visit of Reverend Archbishop Tutu has lent a historic touch to Cochin Port's endeavour to promote cruise tourism.
Cochin Port has already hosted nearly 50,000 cruise tourists and crew during the current season.