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Celebrating Diwali

Remarks by the Hon. David Kilgour

M.P. for Edmonton Southeast and Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific) Parliament Hill, Ottawa

October 31, 2003


Diwali, The Celebration of Lights, is one of the most celebrated festivities on Earth. Uniting all members of the community, young and old, rich or poor, the lighting of the lamps represents our commitment to living the values that bring us closer to divinity. 

As we celebrate the triumphs of light over darkness - of good over evil - we are also honouring those who fight this timeless battle.

Just over a week ago, during his presentation at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAIT), the OSCE's Ambassador to Macedonia, Craig Jenness spoke of the seemingly overwhelming causes for despair as one looks at the state of humanity: at the wars that continue to be fought, at endless conflicts raging over ethnicity, culture, faith and more and at famines, natural disasters and crises like AIDS & HIV. 

Even after working in a position that exposed him to what could be considered the worst of human nature, Craig spoke compellingly of his continued belief in the notion that 'it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness'. 

Just as Rana lit a candle by defeating the evil Ravana before and returning to his throne...

Just as the soldiers and war veterans we will soon honour on Remembrance Day light a candle by sacrificing their own lives for freedom...

Just as Red Cross, UN and other development workers who have lost their lives in bombings in Iraq and around the world light a candle to bring hope to others...

And just as each of us tonight lights a candle in honouring the spirit and tradition of Diwali...

...our collective light will triumph over darkness. 

Thank you.


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