President Mbeki's Message to mark Diwali

Tomorrow, 1 November 2005, all South Africans will be thinking of our Hindu and Tamil communities as they celebrate the "Festival of Lights"- Diwali.

As we continue with our historic task of building a South Africa that truly belongs to all who live in it, we bask in the embracing light of Deepawali as we roll back the darkness of our past history of repression and cultural exclusivism.

However, even as we mark this age-old festival of the triumph of light over darkness, of truth and generosity over evil, the bomb blasts in New Delhi on 29 October 2005 painfully remind us of the fragility of the existence of all humankind.

As we persist in the global quest for peace and, despite setbacks, light up the firecrackers in a spirit of optimism, we once again symbolically express our commitment to strengthen the forces fighting for decent values and peace, and indeed for the development of all the people of the world.

We look forward to the million lights of Deepawali continuing to shine on South Africa as we continue to deepen the freedoms and democracy that we all so dearly cherish.

Enquires: Murphy Morobe on 082 463 9334.

Issued by The Presidency on 31 October 2005.
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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa