6 December 2013
Global Tamil Forum Tribute to Nelson Mandela
We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Comrade Nelson Mandela. His passing is a profound loss to his family, the people of South Africa and millions around the world – including Tamils – who recognised him as one of the great statesmen of our time and a true champion of human rights, dignity, reconciliation and peace.
This moment provides an important opportunity to reflect upon his incredible achievements and the manner in which he sought to heal the wounds of past injustices. As Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General and Chair of the Elders, has said, “by showing us that the path to freedom and human dignity lies in love, wisdom and compassion for one another, Nelson Mandela stands as an inspiration to us all.”
It is remarkable that after 27 years in prison, for struggling against the intolerable regime of apartheid, he emerged from his incarceration without bitterness. Instead he was filled with hope and a willingness to build a new country – a rainbow South Africa.
The fact that South Africa was able to transfer peacefully to a system of democratic governance was a direct result of his willingness to enter into a substantive truth and reconciliation process. There are those who can learn a lot from his teachings and there are many oppressed people who will continue to be inspired by his words and deeds.
Global Tamil Forum sends its sincere condolences to his family, the citizens of South Africa and the African National Congress. Whilst Comrade Mandela may have gone, we hope you draw comfort from what he accomplished during his life and the amazing legacy he leaves behind.
Comrade Mandela, the greatest son of South Africa, who nurtured and guided the new nation will continue to inspire and influence the people of his country and the current South African Government to work for the liberation of people in other parts of the world.