The Nation



When can a freedom fighter truly rest in peace?

OVER THE PAST two days, my Facebook timeline has been overwhelmed with stories about two great men: His Majesty the King on his birthday on Thursday, and Nelson Mandela, who passed away early yesterday morning.

Social media appears to be the perfect channel for people to pay tribute to great personalities and to share links to online versions of traditional media. Twitter was buzzing with live links taking users to different websites detailing Mandela's life.

BBC News (@BBCNewsGraphics) posted a link offering a special report with videos about Mandela's life.

TV channel ABC (@ABCWorldNews) provided details about his favourite food, his life in prison, five surprising facts about the great man ( and a rare look at the letters he had written to his loved ones from behind bars (

Al-Jazeera (@AJELive) provided a link to Mandela's first interview (

The New York Times (@nytimesworld) linked Twitter to major speeches and letters from the life and career of Mandela (, and the Washington Post (@washingtonpost) offered a link to Mandela's most memorable quotes (

Many Facebook users were also posting Mandela's quotes and photographs.

Pirongrong Ramasoota shared a picture of Mandela in a Chulalongkorn University graduation gown, with the message: "RIP Nelson Mandela, one of my true inspirations."

Veenarat Laohapakakul posted the quote: "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."

Bew Arjsaamat shared the quote: "It seems impossible until it's done", while Pui Jintanakun shared a YouTube clip from the documentary "Who is Nelson Mandela".

Many world leaders and famous personalities also posted messages of condolence on Twitter and Instagram.

The White House (@WhiteHouse) provided the link ( to President Barack Obama's message of condolence.

Apple Inc's CEO Tim Cook (@tim_cook) said: "Amazing human being. Champion of freedom and human dignity. He set an example for all. RIP Nelson Mandela. We miss you already."

Bill Gates (@BillGates) said: "Every time Melinda and I met Nelson Mandela, we left more inspired than ever. His grace and courage changed the world. This is a sad day."

Al Gore (@algore) posted: "Today marks the passing of one of the world's great leaders and visionaries, Nelson Mandela. Farewell, Madiba."

The Indian PM's Office (@PMOIndia) posted: "A giant among men has passed away. This is as much India's loss as South Africa's. He was a true Gandhian. His life and work will remain a source of eternal inspiration for generations to come. I join all those who are praying for his soul."

Abhisit Vejjajiva (@Abhisit_DP) also posted a message of loss and disbelief on the great man's passing at about 10am. And at 4.30pm Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's Facebook page also posted a message of condolence.

Many posted links to the films "Invictus" and "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom". The latter premiered, curiously, at the same time as the great man's departure - while many asked how Mandela's life and the lessons he taught us could be applied to what is happening here.

Maybe we have something to learn from the message the Nelson Mandela Foundation (@NelsonMandela) posted: "Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace."

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