We remember Mandela
THE long journey that Nelson Mandela had begun with the struggle against apartheid and for the freedom of his people has come to an end. We, along with the rest of the world, bid this icon of freedom his last farewell. Echoing his own words about death, we repeat, having done what you considered to be your duty to your people and your country you can now rest in peace.
In Bangladesh we hold this great fighter for human dignity of black Africans in great respect. That he was a great friend of Bangladesh was demonstrated through his readiness to join, along with other international dignitaries, our 25th Independence Anniversary organised on March 26, 1997.
The immortal legacy that Mandela has handed down to humanity for generations to come is that it is not in endless hostility, but in reconciliation, even with one's worst enemy, that ultimate victory lies. He proved it by suffering 27-years' harsh prison term at the hands of his apartheid captors. Even so, he did not win his final victory against his enemy in a bloody war, but through brokering a historic peace deal with his oppressor. And the first-ever multiracial election held in South Africa in 1994 that swept the African National Congress (ANC) led by Mandela to power, bore the stamp of the values he held so high: forgiveness and reconciliation. Which is why he did not hesitate to accommodate his erstwhile political foe, the former apartheid president FW de Clerk, as one of his deputies in the government he formed.
Mandela is now history. But he will still remain close to the hearts of all people who are fighting against all forms of discrimination and domination.