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The confession of a converted monarchist

UK

Editor,

Coming to Tonga and witnessing the King’s Funeral has really hit home for me as a Tongan. In the past I have been a fervent Anti-Monarchist, it was not until coming and actually seeing what the Government has done has made me think twice about my stance. I have gained my utmost respect towards the new King Tupou V and hope his reign will be redeemed by fresh wisdom and hopefully more prosperity to Tonga as a whole.

Looking around Nuku’alofa, it has changed immensely, jam packed with 4WDs in every streets. Every child, adult and animal has a mobile phone with their new models. The new trend for youngsters now, are Internet cafes. Soon it will be the iPods and computer games. It is very hard to imagine, Tongans accepting these new technology when a few years back it was looked down upon being “From overseas?” and bringing into Tonga trends of the 80’s which was not accepted in Tongan culture then. The year is 2006 and Tonga has opened it’s doors to materialism. You hardly can see people walking into town from nearby villages because every household has a car or some sort of vehicle.

The Government has been hit hard on the Redundancy packages getting short staffed departments with less skilled civil servants staying behind. A vacuum of posts have slightly slowed services down but it is still running. I am still optimistic about the future of the Government of Tonga. The Customs Department has been improved, also the Tax system in Tonga as well.

With the thought of the NCPR findings that all Tongans are united in wanting political reform has not shocked me at all. However, thinking that Tonga would prefer Democracy as an alternative does. The reason being, Tonga has been ruled as a Monarchy feudal system and I can not see any alternative or a respected opposition leader that will lead Tonga to the promise of a new Tonga. Just like the saying, it is best to know the Devil you know then the Devil you don’t know. Which sums up Tonga’s push for Democracy, who has been a good opposition leader that the people can trust over these years? Who has stand up for the rights of the people and has given the Government alternative to all the mishaps it has done? I think that leader has not been born yet.

The Demo movement parties are all fragmented and have been disjointed from day one, thay cannot form a united front to oppose the King and Parliament! The day, that I will see in Tonga that all Demo parties are holding hands and actually marching all together along Hala Taufa’ahau with one leader and one agenda, just maybe Tonga has a chance for change. But for the time being, lets support the Government and see where things are wrong and try our best to fix them. Enough of this hot air bagging the Government when they are trying their best to run a country let alone a Kingdom. If people disagree with me on this one, then tell me why the political factions that want change for Democracy are not united and if they are not united now, what makes you think it would be when they would want change?

You choose, but I still bet on the Devil I have known for 5 generations. So, choose reform not change, because you do not want to wish for something too hard it just might come true and it can become a nightmare!

Regards,

William Mariner

ionaxe [at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk