Nelson Mandela – reconciler par excellence
Humanity has lost a great soul, and the Mahatma Gandhi Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka joined the people in mourning from all walks of life across the globe to express their sorrow on the death of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. On December 10th The Mahatma Gandhi Centre Board of Trustees observed 2mts silence (in prayer) in his remembrance and read out the following message directed to the President and the people of South Africa through the South African High Commissioner in Sri Lanka:
“The Board of Trustees of the Mahatma Gandhi Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka is deeply moved by the announcement that Nelson Mandela is no more and has departed from the temporary abode in this world to take a permanent place in history. At this moment of profound sense of loss and sadness surrounding the death of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the people of South Africa for a quick transition into renewing the resolve to keep alive Tata Madiba’s mission to protect human dignity and reconcile even with the one who committed heinous crimes against his fellow human beings.
To those of us at the Mahatma Gandhi Centre and our partners in the field, dedicated to societal transformation, Tata Madiba’s words… “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead”… have become the source of inspiration. Like Mahatma Gandhi, Mandela struggled with patience and endurance against oppression, injustice and racism of South Africa’s apartheid and refused to compromise even at the cost of his own life. In this world of unbridled greed for wealth and use of force to grab it at any cost Tata Madiba’s life of simplicity and respect for every life demonstrates the human potential of non-violence and compassion to building bridges for reconciliation among enemies and sharing resources for enriching humanity without subjugating anyone in the process.
Sri Lanka too has had its own struggle to save the country from secession, and it is now engaged in reconstruction and reconciliation among its people. South African experience founded on Nelson Mandela’s vision to create a rainbow nation of mixed communities is considered unique by many countries for managing ethnic diversity, and Sri Lanka is one them. Willingness to relinquish power voluntarily and embrace, in forgiveness, Even those who committed personal harm and reduced his human dignity has raised Tata Madiba to a superhuman in the eyes of the world. History will bear witness that he led a life of great significance because he made a difference in lives of other people. We may have to wait long for emergence of another Mandela but, the world as of today needs many like him to save it from its present catastrophic course”.
MGC Board of Trustees