[Dec 7, 2013]
As we in Fiji share the grief of the Mandela family and people of South Africa at the passing of Madiba, we also celebrate the extraordinary life of this great freedom fighter, unifier, reconciliator, statesman and founding father of the rainbow nation of South Africa.
Nelson Mandela succeeded in liberating his people through his defiant, persistent and disciplined approach towards the repressive apartheid regime that subjected millions of black South Africans to many indignities and much suffering by stripping them of their rights, freedoms and basic humanity.
The suppression of basic rights and freedoms continues here in Fiji, under the repressive Bainimarama regime, who represent all that Nelson Mandela spent his entire life opposing.
We can draw strength and inspiration for our own struggle from Madiba’s willingness to forfeit his own freedom and liberty for the greater need and good of his people.
After sacrificing 27 years of his life in prison he became, at 76 years of age, South Africa’s first democratically-elected President. His choice of weapons for unifying a divided people was forgiveness, compassion and reconciliation. He embraced his enemies despite decades of harsh and inhumane treatment. Although he could have remained in his job for life, as many leaders try to do, he relinquished power after just 5 years.
Nelson Mandela shows us that outright rejection of any form of imposed rule and fighting for people’s rights, freedoms, humanity and dignity is not only just and moral. It is also a responsibility and obligation we all have towards each other. By endeavoring to adopt the same persistence and discipline of Mandela, and armed with the courage of our own convictions, we can and must restore our peoples’ freedoms, rights and dignity.
Authorized By UFDF
For further elaboration or interviews on our statements please contact anyone of the following:
Mick Beddoes – 830524; Laisania Qarase – 9993113; Mahendra Chaudhry – 9921865
Attar Singh – 9921184; Tupeni Baba – 9373364
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