Describing Nelson Mandela as an icon of peace, Sikyong (Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile) Lobsang Sangay said his struggle for justice gave hope to humanity in general and particularly to Tibetans, that justice do prevail in the end.
“On behalf of the Central Tibetan Administration, I would like to express my profound sadness to learn that Nelson Mandela, who has contributed a lot to justice and peace in the world, has left us,” said Sangay addressing a press conference organised soon after the news of the passing away of former South African president broke out on Friday.
“As a law student and as an activist at one time, I have studied about Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. The success of the anti-apartheid movement gave a lot of hope to everyone seeking justice in the world,” he added.
Sangay said the history of the anti-apartheid movement and the personal story of Mandela gave hope to humanity in general and particularly to Tibetans that justice do prevail in the end. Calling Mandela an icon of peace in the world, Dr Sangay said the Tibetan movement, as a whole, was inspired by the anti-apartheid movement for being non-violent and peaceful, “Mandela's legacy and his struggle for justice will continue,” said Sangay.
In his condolence letter to the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, Sikyong said, “Mandela was one of the global peace icons for whom I have tremendous respect. With his passing away, the world has not just lost a great statesman but also a very good human being.”
“The success of his anti-apartheid campaign has given Tibetans a hope that justice will prevail. His legacy of peace, reconciliation and the oneness of humanity will continue to live on and inspire many lives around the world,” Sangay wrote.
Meanwhile, the Tibetan parliament-in-exile also expressed heartfelt condolences to Zuma and Graca Mandela, wife of Mandela.
“We are saddened at the demise of Mandela. He was not only a great leader of the people of South Africa, but an iconic international figure of inspiration for peace, equality, justice and democracy,” said Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, deputy speaker of the Tibetan parliament.
“For the struggling people of Tibet, Mandela will always remain a guiding light and a warm friend to our leader the Dalai Lama- both Nobel Peace laureates,” he said.