See the full statement below from President Dr. Irfaan Ali:
The joyous festival of Diwali is upon us once again. The First Lady and I and our family extend greetings to all Guyanese, but especially to our Hindu community, on this happy occasion.
Diwali recalls the welcome return of Rama, Sita and Lakshman to Ayodhya. The festival also reminds us of the blessings of fortune bestowed by Lakshmi.
Diwali is observed through worship, the sharing of sweets and gifts and outpourings of affection, kindness and friendliness towards others. The cleaning, decorating, and the illumination of homes reflect the pride and reverence attached to the observance of this festival.
This sacred festival erupts in spectacular, bright, colourful and lively expressions, symbolic of the drowning out of negativity and despondency and the banishing of ill-will, malice and division.
Diwali foretells of the inevitable triumph of good over evil, the supersession of knowledge and truth over ignorance and dishonesty, and the primacy of unity over disunity.
Diwali is a time for families, friends and foes to come together and celebrate the shared bonds of humanity. The noble ideals associated with this dazzling and illuminative festival remind us that the greatest gifts, which life and divine providence have bestowed upon us, are meant to be shared with our fellow brothers and sisters.
The sacred texts of Hinduism direct that all creation is infused with oneness. A divine spark exists in all of us.
The unity of our nation is essential to our objective of shared prosperity. Under the One Guyana banner, our people are coming together, rejecting the forces of division and hatred, and uniting in the pursuit of peace, progress and prosperity.
May the spirit of Diwali, celebrated with such fervour in our country, help to fuse our people closer together, respecting our ethnic diversity, setting aside division and uniting all in pursuit of the common good!
A happy and joyous Diwali to all of Guyana!