I want to wish all Fijians a happy Diwali. No matter what your faith may be, let Diwali be a time when we all dedicate ourselves to goodness and enlightenment. Diwali symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. It is through dedication to goodness and enlightenment that we overcome our obstacles, whether they are personal challenges in our lives or the challenges we face as a people. And we will always have that enlightenment if we keep within us an earnest desire to understand our world and our fellow human beings.

This year we are free to celebrate this holiday without many of the constraints we have had to endure over the past year. We are coming out of the darkness of the pandemic, so it is right that we should decorate our houses and light our lights. We controlled this pandemic with knowledge, the knowledge of so many scientists and doctors and other health professionals in Fiji and throughout the world. We are grateful to them.

This Diwali, I find myself in Scotland for a critical meeting of world leaders that we all hope will lead to concrete and assertive actions to stop the warming of our Earth. Knowledge is showing us the way. In this case, we need it to help us triumph, not over ignorance, but over complacency, weakness and short-sightedness. We have faith that enlightenment will prevail, and we will spare no effort.

This Diwali, let us look forward to a better world. Let us celebrate as Fijians and recommit ourselves to goodness, to enlightenment, to equality and to the dignity and worth of every human being. Light your homes, join with friends, and believe that good does triumph over evil and that knowledge will always triumph over ignorance.

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