President Mahinda Rajapaksa described late Nelson Mandela as an iconic figure who has left an indelible mark globally. In a condolence message, President Rajapaksa as Chair in Office of the Commonwealth said the Commonwealth was enriched with the return of South Africa to its fold in 1994, under the leadership of the late Nelson Mandela.
President Rajapaksa, in his message of condolences to South African President Jacob Zuma said the legacy left behind by the late leader would be hard to surpass.
Full text of the condolence message:
His Excellency Jacob Zuma
President of the Republic of South Africa
On behalf of the Commonwealth, as its Chair in Office, I convey our heartfelt sympathies to Your Excellency, the Government and the people of South Africa, and in particular, family members on the sad passing of the founding father of modern South Africa, His Excellency Nelson Mandela. He was an iconic figure who has left an indelible mark on all of us globally.
The Commonwealth was enriched with the return of South Africa to its fold in 1994, under the leadership of the late Nelson Mandela, who represented the highest values of human dignity and statesmanship in contemporary history. Having sacrificed a major part of his illustrious life in prison to end the abhorrent practice of apartheid, he brought new life, dignity and freedom to the people of South Africa, and indeed to the whole of the African continent, which has the largest regional representation in the Commonwealth. The legacy he leaves behind will indeed be hard to surpass.
The highest tribute we in the Commonwealth can pay to this great son of South Africa and Statesman is to preserve the values of democracy, diversity and unity that he so cherished.
Meanwhile President Rajapaksa has sent another message of condolence as President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Following is the Message:
I was deeply saddened to learn about the demise of Mr Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, the great leader of the struggle for freedom and a hero to millions around the world. The late leader inspired the South African people with patriotism by courageously leading them to achieve independence with ethnic harmony. His lifelong dedication and compassion for ensuring human dignity, justice and freedom in South Africa, undoubtedly is an eternal legacy in the hearts and minds of all humankind.
His brave leadership to the South African independence struggle was exemplary, legendary and inspirational for the peace loving people all over the world. The late President Mandela, dignified in manner and committed to a just cause, was a profound icon of peace and a beacon of light for freedom.
The legacy of peace the late President Mandela established, and the philosophy of life he exemplified have been a great inspiration for those of us in Sri Lanka who, for many years, strived for peace. His life and philosophy have deeply inspired me and I consider President Mandela’s demise a great loss to me personally.
At this sorrowful moment, on behalf of the Government and people of Sri Lanka, I extend profound condolences, through Your Excellency to the members of the bereaved family and the South African people.
The Government and people of Sri Lanka stand together with me in solidarity at this difficult hour as your country mourns the passing away of a great leader of South Africa.
Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
December , 2013