and integrity of his country or to the detriment
of both Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.
His contribution to political
life, not only of this island but also internationally
He served as President of the
Committee for Peace in Cyprus from which he resigned
when the Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia.
He was Vice-President of the
Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organisation; he was
at the head of ICSA (International Committee in Solidarity
with Southern Africa) which worked vigorously for the
release of Nelson Mandela.
Dr Lyssarides has also helped freedom fighters from
Africa and throughout his political career has met all
of the African liberation leaders, either in a personal
capacity or as General Secretary of ICSA which worked
against Apartheid and for Mandela's release.
He was deeply involved in the
EOKA struggle in Cyprus against Colonial Britain from
1955 to 59 and also treated fighters and offered them
refuge in his Nicosia clinic. At the time, Dr Lyssarides
had also established the movement of leftwing patriots
and was considered a political district officer.
At the London Conference later
he acted as a representative of EOKA and voted against
the Zurich - London agreements which ended the guerrilla-led
rebellion in Cyprus. He believed that the arrangement
was not functional as it was based on racial distinction
and was most divisive.
Dr Vassos Lyssarides was elected
to the Cyprus House of Representatives in 1960 upon
independence and has been a member to the House ever
He was also the leader of the
Popular army during the 1963-64 intercommunal upheavals
instigated by Turkey.
In 1969 he founded EDEK, the Socialist political party
of Cyprus and was its President until 2002. He is now
the party's honorary president and is still active in
It was the EDEK supporters led
by Dr Lyssarides who faced and blocked an attempted
coup in 1972, and throughout the early seventies he
actively participated in the struggle of the Greek people
against the Junta.
In Cyprus, under his leadership,
EDEK was the main resistance against Junta infiltration.
He also co-operated with the mainland Greek resistance
groups, mainly P.A.K. (Papandreou).
Then, in 1974, Dr Lyssarides
led the struggle of the Cypriot people against the coup
carried out jointly by the mainland Greek Junta and
the local EOKA B. The Turkish invasion and occupation
of Cyprus followed.
On 30th August, 1974, an attempt was made against Dr
Lyssarides' life during which the party's youth leader,
Doros Loizou and a passerby were killed. The aim of
the attack against Dr Lyssarides was to silence his
repeated calls for the return of President Makarios
and the end of the post-coup status. Dr Lyssarides was
also an obstacle for the materialization of the then
US Secretary of State Kissinger's plans.
Dr Lyssarides served as President of the House of Representatives
from 1985 to 1991. He was also president of the Cyprus
Medical Association, Hippocrates and is now its honorary
Gunmen from EOKA B opened fire
and wounded Dr Lyssarides while enroute to his Nicosia
office on 30th August 1974 following an earlier Junta
- backed coup d' etat against the Cyprus government.
The doctor was the main fighter
against the Junta and after the Turkish invasion of
northern Cyprus in July, 1974, he continued to work
for the restoration of the elected President of Cyprus,
Makarios. The President had taken refuge in London following
the coup after EOKA B and Junta members attacked the
Presidential Palace with the intention of assassinating
During the later attempt against
Dr Lyssarides' life, the youth leader of Dr Lyssarides'
Socialist party, Doros Loizou was killed along with
a passer-by. Doros Loizou's wife was also injured in
Lyssarides and President Makarios
Dr Lyssarides first met Archbishop Makarios at the Pancyprian
Gymnasium which they both attended, but in different
The negotiations over London-Zurich
agreement was to further mark the close relationship
between the two men. It was in London that Dr Lyssarides
first treated the Archbishop and was to be his personal
doctor until the end of President Makarios' life.
Their frequent disagreements
never marred their close friendship or the respect they
had for each other.
Dr Vasos Lyssarides honoured by President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma
President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, hosted a special National Orders ceremony and bestowed the Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo to Dr Vasos Lyssarides on the 26th of October 2012.
This was part of honouring the legacy of national hero and former ANC President Oliver Reginald Tambo, after whom the National Order is named.
The orders were presented on the birth date of Mr Tambo during the International Solidarity Conference.
Dr Vasos Lyssarides was awarded this prestigious award for having played a significant part in the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa through lobbying the international community to take a stand against the oppression of South African people and for the release of Mandela.
He was at the head of I.C.S.A. which was formed by AAPSO, Peace Movement and all the liberation movements of Africa.