Tuesday, November 13, 2012

PM Kamla's Divali message to T&T

Fellow citizens, the annual festival of Divali has once again arrived bringing with it an atmosphere charged with spirituality, the celebration of friendship, faith in God, community togetherness and unity, amongst other positive feelings and values.

There is absolutely no doubt that the festival of Divali is truly national, a reflection of our people’s maturity about our cultural diversity and pluralism. 

There are few countries around the globe who can boast of the way we in Trinidad and Tobago genuinely share one another’s festivals and where we make that extra effort to seek to understand one another.

It is perhaps because of our openness to appreciate, and our willingness to share and understand, that there is such a wonderful culture of friendship and peace in this cosmopolitan country. I applaud the growing trend in our society to celebrate what is right in Trinidad and Tobago.

Divali 2012 comes at a time when we are witnessing a very active citizenry who expects good governance and a higher level of accountability in public affairs. I wish to assure the national community that my government is committed to the highest level of accountability in public affairs and to the principles of good governance.

This has been demonstrated by my own actions over the period I have been Prime Minister. As a government we have also demonstrated this in the way we have respected the rule of law, maintained the separation of powers, and ensured that media are free from any form of censorship.

Freedom to be critical of the government and to speak freely without the fear of persecution is a hallmark of my Government.

Where the freedom of citizens are protected, where freedom from fear exists, where differences of opinions can be discussed in an atmosphere of mutual respect, and where consensus as a mode of decision making is practiced, people are happier and society also flourishes. When we do all of this, light shines throughout our country.

It is with these things in mind that I celebrate the festival of Divali this year. It is a festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.

Wherever there is darkness in this land, whether it be in the form of perceived threats to fundamental freedoms, or whether it is the darkness of poverty, or the violation of the person, especially the rape and abuse of our women and children, I will work to eradicate these forms of darkness and bring light and healing to those affected. This is the prayer I ask of Mother Lakshmi, who is the one who brings light.

The principal deity of Divali is Mother Lakshmi, the Goddess of knowledge, wealth and wisdom – qualities which are inherent to the spiritual concept of light.

As the Goddess of prosperity, she is worshipped by devotees to ensure that they will be blessed with food, shelter, good health, knowledge and wealth, and, in addition, they will achieve their fullest potential as human beings. 

As the Goddess of Wisdom, she is the one to bless us with the power to choose that which is right. 

It is for these reasons that Hindus spend so much time preparing themselves physically and mentally as well as cleaning their homes and surroundings to greet Mother Lakshmi, since it is widely held that she will not visit places that are unprepared. 

The importance of this is that, in the preparation we make to receive Mother Lakshmi, we have as a people the human capacity to set goals and to work hard to create and enjoy success. 

We must translate this into our secular activities with the same passion and faith. This will certainly facilitate and enhance our competitiveness as a nation and our fortunes as a country. 
May the joy of Divali embrace you and your families. May it spread throughout our land, and may the love we show towards Mother Lakshmi be a love that encompasses all of us as one people and one nation. 
Shubh Divali.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai