Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama today condoled the death of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela saying he will personally miss a "dear friend".
Expressing his deep sadness, Dalai Lama, in a letter to the family of Mandela said, the world has lost a great leader, whose steadfast and unflinching determination played a key role in securing peace and reconciliation during South Africa's transition from apartheid rule.
"Under his leadership South Africa was transformed through peaceful means, in the spirit of reconciliation," he said.
The spiritual leader said that he would personally miss a dear friend, who he had hoped to meet again and for whom he had great admiration and respect.
"He was a man of courage, principle and unquestionable integrity, a great human being, someone of whom we can truly say, 'He lived a meaningful life'. I pray for him and offer my heartfelt condolences to you, the members of your family and the entire people of South Africa," he said in the letter.
The Dalai Lama said the best tribute we could pay him was to do whatever we could to contribute to honoring the oneness of humanity and work for peace and reconciliation as he did.