On this auspicious occasion of the festival of Deepavali, the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) would like to extend greetings and best wishes to all Guyanese, especially our Hindu brothers and sisters. Deepavali signifies, among other things, that light will eventually triumph over darkness which is a profound source of inspiration so that all mankind can remain hopeful. It also emboldens humanity with hope-giving surety that even in the face of insurmountable challenges, strength will be imbued for them to be overcome. These and the other important lessons of Deepavali provide guidance for us all as we continue to work assiduously towards the national goal of strengthening the bonds of friendship among our Guyanese brothers and sisters. It is through this that national harmony can be achieved so that we can confront challenges together and remove the dark veil of division. This, therefore, becomes essential for the furtherance of peace and goodwill and we can be comforted knowing that our combined efforts can realise that seemingly elusive light which can allow national harmony to shine through and for which we all yearn. Deepavali, like our other national festivals, is a much-anticipated event. It has not only transcended religious boundaries but has become a pillar of our cultural landscape. The traditional motorcades and their inherent beauty along with that of the thousands of flickering diyas are important conduits through splendour which brings our people from across the country together. The ERC, therefore, urges that we endeavour so that particular influence can be built upon for the promotion of harmony, unity and good relations among us all in this multifaceted society. As we gravitate towards that light of enlightenment, let us be reminded that Deepavali, through its significance, is replete with messages for togetherness. These, if heeded and inculcated, bode well for the advancement of our nation, its people and humanity at large. Shubh Deepavali to all!