In a message marking Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, the Indian-origin Prime Minister of this Caribbean nation said that her government was well prepared to deal with the Ebola virus.
"Through the relevant ministries, agencies and departments, and in collaboration with our international partners, I give my assurance and that of the government that every possibility of a (Ebola) scenario will be considered and prepared for to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus," this country's first female and Hindu Prime Minister said.
"We cannot allow ourselves and our country to be overtaken by the darkness of selfishness, injustice, pride and intolerance," Persad-Bissessar noted.
Diwali in Trinidad and Tobago has been a public holiday since 1966. Prior to Thursday's lighting of hundreds of thousands of diyas (small earthen lamps), this nation has been celebrating Diwali for three weeks now. This includes celebrations organised by government ministries, corporates and a network of community, social, religious and cultural groups.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Dookeran in his Diwali message spoke of the need "to look within ourselves and adjust to the messages of truth, justice, integrity and peace as inscribed in all the great religious literature of mankind".
"Diwali in Trinidad and Tobago has now become a major national, and even an international celebration as it continues to attract patrons from all parts of the globe," said the former governor of the Central Bank.
"We must pay tribute to our forefathers who came from several parts of India between 1845 and 1917 for their resilience and fortitude in maintaining the great human, moral, spiritual and ethical values, all of which must continue to be our daily guidance in dealing with our fellow human beings," Dookeran said.
Indian High Commissioner Gauri Shankar Gupta, in his message, said that the festival of Diwali has a message for the entire humanity that "we all need to work for the promotion of good and the destruction of evil".
"The Festival of Diwali is rooted in the history and culture of India since time immemorial. Ramayana is one of the two epics defining Indian culture, ethos and the Indian way of life," he added.