Nelson Mandela – A Man Of The People
Nelson Mandela, the inspirational figure of Africa’s struggle for freedom and the hero to millions around the world, has died at the age of 95 in the company of his family at home in Johannesburg.
Nelson Mandela’s death was announced to the world by South Africa’s current president, Jacob Zuma, who said on television that Mandela had “departed” and was at peace.
President Zuma said that Nelson Mandela would be given a state funeral and that the country’s flags would fly at half-mast. As the news of Nelson Mandela’s death spread tributes from the world’s leaders began to pour into South Africa. Nelson Mandela’s lifetime fight for equality made it clear he was a man of the people and that he was with the world’s downtrodden.
Nelson Mandela’s influence was immense and even extended to the isolated jungles of Burma’s conflict zones. A displaced villager, Saw Hackett from Karen State’s Dooplaya District spoke to Karen News.
“Nelson Mandela was a great national leader. The world’s leaders should take his life as an example. He sacrificed so much for his people. The loss of Nelson Mandela is a huge loss to the world. We, Karen hope that we will have a leader emerge for our cause as Nelson Mandela did for his people and their struggle.”
Naw Tu Tu, a health worker with the Burma Children Medical Fund in Mae Sot paid tribute to Nelson Mandela’s lifelong struggle on behalf of his people.
“Nelson Mandela battled for equal rights for his people against great odds for many years. He fought for his people…he was jailed for his people. Our Karen leaders should learn from him, they should read and practice his words, make sacrifice for their people and fight for their Karen people’s rights.”
Ko Bo Kyi, a founding member and now secretary of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners- Burma (AAPP), was jailed three times for a total of seven years and three months. Since Bo Kyi’s release from jail in 1998 he has campaigned to free all Burmese political prisoners. Bo Kyi paid tribute to Nelson Mandela for inspiring him to fight for justice while imprisoned in Burma’s notorious Insein Jail.
“The death of Nelson Mandela is a great loss to the world. Nelson Mandela was a political prisoner for 27-years in South Africa, he was a massive inspiration to us in Burma’s jails. He was a hero of human rights. I read his book, the Long Road to Freedom, in jail. His story inspired me to continue to fight against injustice while I was in jail. I followed Nelson Mandela’s example to fight against injustice.