Sri Lankan religious leaders say they learnt forgiveness and reconciliation from Mandela
by Melani Manel Perera
The former British colony marks the passing of the anti-apartheid leader with a special event organised by an interfaith organisation at the South African High Commission in Colombo. Buddhist, Catholic, Christian and Hindu leaders offer a special prayer for the late president.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - Sri Lanka "must nurture the values ​​of forgiveness and reconciliation" as exemplified and promoted by Nelson Mandela, said Buddhist, Catholic, Christian and Hindu leaders from the Inter-Religious Peace Foundation (IRPF) at a special ceremony held last Wednesday in honour of the late leader and first post-Apartheid president of South Africa.

The event was held at the South African High Commission (Embassy) in Colombo and was Sri Lanka's way to pay tribute to Mandela. Many lay people from different religions also attended the gathering to honour Madiba with a special prayer.

"Mandela's death brought together more than 90 world leaders at the memorial service in Johannesburg," said IRPF member Fr Reid Shelton Fernando, who also attended the ceremony.

"The handshake between US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro stands out as one of the event's highlights," he told AsiaNews.

"This is a symbol of the positive impact of Mandela's life," which embodied the values ​​of "forgiveness, peace, reconciliation, justice and lack of revenge against one's enemies."