Yangon - Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday paid tribute to Nelson Mandela as a “great human being” who inspired others to change the world.
“I would like to express my extreme grief at the passing away of a man who stood for human rights and for equality in this world,” Suu Kyi said of her fellow Nobel Peace laureate, who died on Thursday.
“He made us all understand that nobody should be penalised for the colour of his skin, for the circumstances into which he is born. He also made us understand that we can change the world - we can change the world by changing attitudes, by changing perceptions. For this reason I would like to pay him tribute as a great human being who raised the standard of humanity.”
Mandela, the hero of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement and a towering figure of 20th century politics, died aged 95 after a long battle against a lung infection.
Mandela and Suu Kyi both spent years behind bars for their struggle against repressive regimes, earning international acclaim as two of the world's leading defenders of human rights.