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16-11

Tongans War of Words

USA

Editor,

Since November 16th we have been entertained by the War of Words that is currently taking place between Dr. Sitiveni Halapua and Mr. Lopeti Senituli and having been a resident of Fiji for many years until last year, I am beginning to observe a familiar pattern to that in Fiji.

Some people tried a ‘coup’ which failed in many ways on November 16th and then now some people are having war of words that is more destructive than constructive. I hope that people would walk the talk and come together for meaningful dialogue rather than playing this game. As responsible citizens, people concerned should put a stop to this and not allow this to go on for too long, as at this time no one needs to be playing ‘tau lau’ but playing ‘what can you do to help Tonga’ As we observe, each party claims to have valid points, however the approach and manner they have been conducted creates more conflicts than resolutions and this does not at all help with the re-building efforts of His Majesty and His Government. If such debates were on much simpler things like:

Can we work together to re-build our country in a peaceful way?

Can we mobilize the people, women, men, children to conduct peace vigils for the country?

Can we seek to resolve our differences through ‘“talanoa fakalelei’ ” — proper dialogue?

On November 16th, and since then, we see men and women of Tonga trying to prove their points.

May I challenge the women and men who promote peaceful resolutions, who want peaceful lives, the women…’s groups, NGOs, faith-based organisations, CSOs of Tonga to stand up and play your roles as peace makers, as bridge-builders and mediate to bring about peaceful resolutions and help move the country forward. It is time that we break the silence and show solidarity for peace and development. It is no longer about Halapua…’s, or the pro-demos…’, or Senituli…’s feelings, it is about what is at stake for our nation.

Do we really want to watch our children and their children go down a path that we will never forgive ourselves for?

NEVER AGAIN do we want to see November 16th repeated

NEVER AGAIN do we want to see foreign troops in our country because we messed up

May the seedlings of love, peace and grace from God enlighten us in efforts to re-build our economy and reconcile our relationships as Tongans. Christmas is around the corner and may the true message of Christmas overcome the uncertainties caused by the few.

‘Ofa atu

Amelia Kinahoi-Siamomua

asiamomua [at] care [dot] org