Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has reiterated her commitment to a national conversation between Government and the people where views and ideas can be mutually exchanged.
This was part of the Prime Minister’s Divali message yesterday. She said the Government looked forward to continued meaningful and constructive dialogue with citizens and all heads of religious organisations. That shared responsibility, Persad-Bissessar added, was to ensure a better country. “I am of the view that in speaking to each other across the length and breadth of T&T a better understanding will emerge among all interest groups, ensuring that we can arrive at the best solutions and find common purpose for the greater good of all of us and our country,” she said.
Persad-Bissessar said working together was an essential ingredient to success and integral to resolution.
“Divali over time has become an event on the national calendar and has been increasingly embraced by citizens as a reason for nationwide celebration and heritage appreciation which reflected the diversity and pluralism that defines the nation’s character,” she said. She urged, however, that Divali was not a festival where only deyas were lit and fireworks displayed. Saying these were wonderful ways of expressing joy and happiness Persad-Bissessar added: “But, they are not the only or true meaning of light which shows us the way on our journey through life.” She said the purpose was not to glorify the light of the deya or the light of the firecracker but rather to glorify the light of God.
She also urged citizens to forge closer relationships with God, families and each other. The light of Divali, Persad-Bissessar added, must also penetrate inward, for only there would it have lasting benefit. Wealth and material possessions, she said, were wordly goods but real prosperity meant having God at the centre of one’s life, the PM said.
“Now was also the time, she added, for citizens to be more loving, kind and respectful towards one another and to foster harmony and promote the universal prerequisites of love.
“It is a spiritual ‘fresh start’ which should be embraced by all who understand the concept of forgiveness and re-affirmation,” she said.