Tibetans including the Dalai Lama and Lobsang Sangay, the head of Tibetan administration in exile expressed sadness over the demise of former African president Nelson Mandela.
After South African president Jacob Zuma's announcement about the parting of Nelson Mandela, 95 on Thursday, December 5 2013, the Dalai Lama expressed sadness over loss of a 'dear friend' in a letter sent to his family members.
“He was a man of courage, principle and unquestionable integrity, a great human being, someone of whom we can truly say, he lived a meaningful life. I pray for him and offer my heartfelt condolences to you, the members of your family and the entire people of South Africa.” said the Dalai Lama in the letter.
Sikyong Lobsang Sangay held a press conference in Dharamsala to offer condolences to his family and South Africa on behalf of the Central Tibetan Administration. Calling Mandela an icon of peace in the world, Sangay said “the Tibetan movement, as a whole, is inspired by the anti-apartheid movement for being non-violent and peaceful, adding that Mandela’s legacy and his struggle for justice will continue.” At a time when the world leaders and people are paying tribute to Nelson Mandela, Tibetans around the world are also relating the Tibet issue with his principles and discussing about the demise on social networking sites.
Tenzing Jigme, president of Tibetan Youth Congress shares Mandela's influence on him with VOA. Tenzin Tsundue, writer and activist based in Dharamsala spoke about how Mandela and Martin Luthar King inspired him and said "Tibetans should think about their struggle as different from that of South Africa and US anti-Apartheid movements'
Nelson Mandela passed away after prolonged illness. He has a Chidren's Fund and Mandela foundation to his name to carry forward his legacy in peace building and reconciliation.