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The people must commit

California, USA

Dear Matangi Tonga,

Again, thank you for the coverage on Tongan current events. Your work is appreciated, which is reflected in the warm comments from many readers.

Emotions are high and Tongans appear to be happy with the progress of the commoner’s strike. Vava’u and Ha’apai continues to show support for the strike and live up to their names (i.e. whoop whoop to the 6 Ib.).

Unfortunately, the truth of the matter remains grim. The strike continues to hurt the economy and elite groups PROBABLY refuse to inject much needed cash flow. I’m assuming the few elite HAVE the money to spend, which I assume due to many previous articles about the wealthy Tongans in the Kingdom. As I previously mentioned, political reform is inevitable. But, the day to day ordeals Tongans must face will provide a staggering stumbling block that will not be easily overcome by simply electing a new group of leaders.

Although the government appears to be yielding to some of the demands of the PSC/PSA, who can lead this Kingdom into the future? How does Tonga escape the looming presence of world-wide creditors? When are most Tongans going to have the basic necessities - such as food, water, and clothing? How about improved health care, more importantly, preventative medicine? Who will manage the economic/social/political matters and help Tonga escape the current convoluted conundrums?

Needless to say, many questions remain unanswered - on both sides of the fence. We cannot rely on anyone to paint dreams for us. We must make our own futures - today. The strikers provide a glimpse of the current pandemic shocking the region; the South Pacific must catch up to world-wide progress. I hope the results of the situation destroys the social barriers and builds a new and improved version of the ‘Friendly Islands’.

So, whatever the panacea may be for this situation, my hopes lie with the Kingdom as a whole. The government might have to submit, but the people must commit.

‘Ofa atu ki Tonga.

Malo ‘Aupito,

Rick Siale

rick [dot] siale [at] investools [dot] com