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Speech by His Excellency Mr. Dinesh Bhatia, Ambassador of India on the occasion of Diwali function organised by Ektha, Indian Association at Espace Crystal Banquet Hall, Abidjan on 14 November 2015

Posted on: November 14, 2016 | Back | Print

Good Evening, Bonsoir, Namaskar,

I will be speaking in English. I hope everyone will be able to understand.

Before I talk about Diwali greetings, I want to convey heartfelt condolences on behalf of each one present here to the Government and people of France, through my dear friend Ambassador Georges Serre, Ambassador of France to Cote d’Ivoire on gruesome killings, on this terrorist attack which have taken place yesterday. India is a long sufferer of terrorism and we stand with Government and people of France in this hour of grief when hundreds of innocent lives were taken by the terrorists.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate President H.E. Alassane Ouattara on his recent victory in Ivorian Presidential elections. I must share with you that President of India has written a personal message to President Ouattara congratulating him on the historic mandate that he has received in the recent elections. India is hopeful that the economic resurgence, peace and stability of Cote d’Ivoire will be further strengthened in the second tenure of President Ouattara.

Excellencies, friends, ladies and gentlemen,

The Indian community is on the rise in Cote d’Ivoire and so is our relation with Cote d’Ivoire. I have the pride and honour to say that we have amongst us several dignitaries from the Government of Cote d’Ivoire. I would like to particularly welcome Minister for Agriculture H.E. Mr. Sangafowa Coulibaly, Minister of Trade H.E. Mr. Jean Louis Billon and, of course, Mrs. Coulibaly and Mrs. Billon. We also have amongst us Mr. Thierry Tanoh, the Deputy Chief of Staff of President Ouattara and his wife. We also have Mr. Ahmadou Bakayako, DG of RTI, the Mayor of Plateau Akossi Bendjo and Mr. Kouassi Charles. I am also expecting another dear friend Mr. Venance Konan, the DG of Fraternite Matin. I also have the honour to welcome Ambassador of Japan and his wife at this function.

Indian community is growing and consequently Indian interest in Cote d’Ivoire is growing. The language and distance are no more barriers. There are several things which bind us together starting with the tricolor. Many of you know, rather most of you know that the three colours in the Indian Flag are the same as in Ivorian Flag except that the Ivorian Flag has those three colours vertically and Indian Flag has those three colours horizontally.

There is another common thing which binds us and many of you deal in that and that is cashew. I must take this opportunity to compliment Agriculture Minister Mr. Sangafowa Coulibaly for having achieved the number one position in the world in cashew production, surpassing India.

The President of Ektha Association which is the host of this function today Mr. Hiru has already explained to you the meaning of Diwali. I think, there are two very important things which if you ask any Indian, are the two most important reasons behind Diwali celebrations. The first is the victory of good over evil and the second Goddess Lakshmi – the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Very importantly, we seek Sadhbudhi or wisdom on this occasion for all of our Ivorian friends, for people of Indian origin and Indians based in Cote d’Ivoire. I hope this Diwali will bring even more prosperity to each one of us.

Last but not the least, I would like to thank Mr. Hiru, the Indian Association Ektha and his team which has organized this Diwali function. I must add that this is the largest Indian function that is being organized in the history of Cote d’Ivoire. Thank you so much.

I convey this thank you on behalf of my wife, my family and my team in the Embassy which has been persistently working to give all possible comforts to Indian citizens in Cote d’Ivoire.

Thank you once again and Happy Diwali to you all.