- DC Area
- Jersey Area
- Los Angeles
- New York
- SF Bay Area
- Earlier editions
- India News
- US News
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said the festival of Diwali contains a message for "all of us, whatever our faith".
"Diwali is the festival of lights symbolising joy, brightness and happiness; the victory of light over darkness and of good over evil. It is, most importantly, a time of goodwill and understanding between communities," he said.
"Diwali is a wonderful festival. It is a time when the family is centre stage. It's also a time for celebration and reflection about what we have achieved in the past, and our ambitions for the future," the prime minister said in a statement on Thursday night, which was read by Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon at a Diwali dinner attended by 400 guests from British and Indian business communities.
"Diwali is obviously, and most importantly, a festival celebrated by Hindus and Sikhs. But it is also a festival that contains a message for all of us, whatever our faith," he said.
Stressing that "Britain's diversity of backgrounds and experiences has brought tremendous strengths and benefits to the society", Blair said festivals like Diwali "play an important role in helping us to appreciate and celebrate this diversity".
The event was co-hosted by London First, a business membership organisation supported by over 300 companies, the Loomba Trust, a charity organisation and Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, to raise funds for charities in the UK and India.
Back to top
Tell us what you think of this report