(TibetanReview.net, Dec27’21) – Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai lama, has on Dec 26 expressed heartfelt condolences on the passing away of his “respected elder spiritual brother and good friend” and fellow-Nobel Peace laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, on Dec 26, writing to his daughter, Rev. Mpho Tutu.
“As you know, over the years, your father and I enjoyed an enduring friendship. I remember the many occasions we spent time together, including the week here at Dharamsala in 2015 when we were able to share our thoughts on how to increase peace and joy in the world. The friendship and the spiritual bond between us was something we cherished,” the Dalai Lama wrote in his condolence letter.
He called Tutu’s passing away, at the age of 90, the loss of “a great man, who lived a truly meaningful life,” devoted to the service of others, “especially those who are least fortunate.”
“I am convinced the best tribute we can pay him and keep his spirit alive is to do as he did and constantly look to see how we too can be of help to others,” he wrote.
Following their 2015 meeting in Dharamsala, the two spiritual icons co-authored a book titled “The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World” published in 2016.
Former Archbishop Tutu of Cape Town was one of the driving forces behind the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and the country’ President Cyril Ramaphosa has said he had helped bequeath “a liberated South Africa”. He called Tutu “an iconic spiritual leader, anti-apartheid activist and global human rights campaigner”.
Tutu was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1984 for his role in the struggle to abolish the apartheid system enforced by the white minority government against the black majority in South Africa from 1948 until 1991.
Leaders across the world have expressed condolences on Tutu’s passing away. UN Secretary-General António Guterres called Tutu “a towering global figure for peace and an inspiration to generations across the world”, “a shining beacon for social justice, freedom and non-violent resistance” during the darkest days of apartheid.
Former US President Barack Obama called Tutu “a mentor, a friend, and a moral compass for me and so many others.”