NEWS

Silence Biggest Enemy: Ratu Epeli

Silence is the biggest enemy in the fight for equal rights, says President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau. Speaking at the launch of the UN Free and Equal Campaign Against Homophobia and
06 Aug 2015 08:36
Silence Biggest Enemy: Ratu Epeli
President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and a guest at the launch of the UN Free and Equal Campaign Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Photo: Jona Konataci

Silence is the biggest enemy in the fight for equal rights, says President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

Speaking at the launch of the UN Free and Equal Campaign Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Ratu Epeli called on people to end violence against the LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex) community.

This campaign has been launched to raise awareness on violence against this community and to put an end to it.

Ratu Epeli said Fiji had made headway when it decriminalised homosexuality five years ago. However, he said in eight other Pacific island nations, homosexuality was still a crime.

“I know of cases of young transgender people who have been forced to interrupt their education much too early because of bullying that was so severe they did not want to go back to school,” he said.

“I know of teenage girls who have been raped – even by their own family members – with the outrageous justification that this violence would change their sexual orientation. I know of gay men who have been arrested and detained on the charges of simply loving someone of their own sex. There are no excuses that can justify these violations of human rights. These examples could make you lose faith in mankind,” Ratu Epeli said.

“We have gone a long way in a short time. And so can other countries if they have the will to do so.”

He said legal reform alone cannot eradicate prejudice.

“We need enlightenment through education and awareness. We know much more today about the nature of sexual orientation and sexual identity, and that knowledge has brought about understanding and change.

“Together, we can and we will build a Pacific that is free and equal,” he said.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

Subscribe to E-Edition
Vodafone-giga-plan
GSMA
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
SPSE
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: