Government Response to March Cancellation


The following statement was released by the Fijian Attorney-Genral Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum :

The permit for the LGBTIQ march was cancelled by the police, the authority authorized to grant permits, following their professional assessment.

The Bainimarama Government strongly stands by its policy of non-discrimination. The cancellation of the permit does not in any way reflect a change in this policy.

The Bainimarama Government has put in place measures that assure that there is no discrimination between one group and another; one Fijian and another. Every Fijian is treated equally under the law.

In a clear break from previous governments, it is the Bainimarama government that has institutionalized non-discrimination by changing the policies of the past and enacting legal reforms insuring equal rights for those suffering from HIV-AIDS, victims of domestic violence and establishing gender neutrality in the law.



Well nigh time for reflection said…
Having a policy of non-discrimination is one thing. Changing the perception of people and their firm belief in what is right and wrong is quite another. In matters of sexual behaviour, Fiji observes the 'tabu' of many Pacific countries. What is done and what is said about it are two quite different things. In a country where burgeoning hiv/AIDS statistics are running dangerously high, bi-sexuality is an obvious issue. The hypocrisy of those who practise it combined with cultural'tabu' against any open or even private discussion of the matter only serve to promote ignorance and denial: we are talking of conduct which aids and abets the spread of a terminal disease. A disease which brings families to grief and will shorten lives often at their most essentially productive phase. The nation state cannot afford this. THe impact on service delivery is simply too great to bear.

NGOs in Fiji must now face the facts. Marching through the streets is mere window-dressing. The wolf is at the door. Time to shape up and throw off the hypocritical self-denial that too often masquerades as appropriate action. It is not only the churches but also the mosques and other religions which condemn certain kinds of sexual conduct. THe Jewish religion and culture from the Old Testament to the New also has a position. There is a sound rationale for this. We would do well to pay heed. 418 reported cases of hiv/AIDS is the Tip of a Large Iceberg. It suggests that we have between 5,000 - 12,000 cases of hiv/AIDS in our midst. Why must we march: what is there to celebrate?

The review of the permit was well founded. The Minister acted with common and sound sense. It is well nigh time for reflection on what we might have done differently.
Lesley. said…
@Well nigh time for reflection -
What you have just said is well written and well thought out. Totally agree. When the NGO's march down the street do they embrace and promote sexual conduct hand in hand with moral values and standards? The ambulance at the bottom of the cliff saves few.

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