The Governor General His Excellency Sir David Vunagi used his King’s birthday speech to remind the nation of the words of His Majesty King Charles III when he last visited Solomon Islands in 2019, calling for the nation to end domestic violence and to remain vigilant on climate change and over fishing of our tuna resources.
Speaking on the King’s Official Birthday celebration parade at Lawson Tama stadium on Friday 16 June, Sir David recalled the 2019 visit by His Majesty when he was Prince of Wales and spoke on three different occasions.
“Many of us would still remember vividly that in 2019, then Prince Charles, made a three day visit to Honiara from 23 – 25 November. During that short visit Prince Charles met many of our leaders and involved in some important engagements. Firstly, he attended a thanksgiving service at St. Barnabas Cathedral in honor of her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee,” Sir David recalled.
“And on the morning of 25 November, the last day of his visit, he addressed Parliament and raised concerns about domestic violence against women and girls. He emphasized that domestic violence is a form of discrimination that causes physical and sexual injuries and deprive women of achieving their full potential,” Sir David said.
Sir David added that in Solomon Islands, domestic violence remains high in some of our homes and communities. In fact, injuries caused by domestic violence is another health issue for our women and girls. Undesirably, most arguments between married couples often end in violence because of the cultural view that violence in a married relationship is a private matter.
“Misunderstanding of human rights is a contributing factor to violence in married relationships. Both the husband and wife claim that it is their right to do whatever they want. In marriage, the husband and wife cannot claim any right that is independent of the other partner. What they have is reciprocal responsibilities to love and care for each other. Nothing more,” Sir David said.
Sir David further recalled that at Lawson Tama, Prince Charles delighted the crowd when he addressed them in pidgin. He discussed the problems of youths and how communities can support them in transitioning to adulthood. Youths should develop self- determination and self- advocacy skills and establish social and community support network. Basic training on money management skills is also relevant for young people.
“He also discussed environmental issues like climate change and over-fishing both of which have depleted natural resources in Solomon Islands,” he said.
At the Forum Fisheries Agency Prince Charles spoke about the importance of controlling tuna fishing and keeping it sustainable in the region.
“So today, in celebrating His Majesty’s Birthday, we are celebrating connectedness, world peace, unity, friendship, human rights and reflect on ideals to address economic inequality, gender equality, equal opportunity in education, and elimination of poverty, reduce unemployment, elimination of disease and free trade,” Si David said.
Sir David added that these are life issues that His Majesty encourages the Commonwealth of Nations and the world to realize in creating a peace – loving society.
The Governor General also administered the presentation of previous honors and awards to respective recipients and also officiate the pardon ceremony of an inmate who was freed after 11 years prison. ENDS///