MPs honour Mandela
FORMER SOUTH AFRICAN President and the world’s most renowned freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela, was showered with praise on both sides of the Lower House of Parliament today.
Led by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, members hailed the 93-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner for his strength of character, his ability to overcome bitterness and seek healing for his nation, and an example of how much Barbadians should cherish their own freedom.
Deputy Opposition Leader Dale Marshall recalled being involved as a student in a march to free Mandela, noting that their voices would have contributed in a small way to the groundswell of support for “one of the greatest heroes of all time”.
“He not only spoke the words but lived a life characterized by a passion for democracy and justice,” Marshall said.
Government backbencher Hamilton Lashley, in an emotional address, said Mandela ranked with other great leaders whose names began with M, including Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, who all suffered trials and had to defend their philosophies with all their being.
He called on Barbadians to celebrate during the upcoming Emancipation period the 93rd birthday of Mandela as well as the United Nations’ designation of 2011 as the Year of Persons of African Descent.