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16-11

Violence is not the answer

West Texas,USA

Editor,

In June of this year, my wife and I traveled to Tonga. It was a fantastic trip in which we experienced the warmth and hospitality of the Tongan way. I would especially like to thank the airport officials who went above and beyond the call of duty to assist my wife and I. This letter is not about that, it is written to those who participated in those terrible riots that destroyed so very much and cost the lives of so many.. Ohh, my friends how I weep for those families I send to them my love, my condolences and my concern. Violence is not the answer to your frustrations the answer must come through law not anarchy. A truly free society must not include a “peace” which oppresses.

We must learn on our own terms what peace and freedom mean together. There can be no peace if there is social injustice and suppression of human rights, because external and internal peace are inseparable. Peace is not just the absence of mass destruction, but a positive internal and external condition in which people are free so that they can grow to their full potential. Freedom and Peace lies in the hearts of people let us as Tongans, and want to be Tongans work for peace, let us bind the wounds, repair the damage and work together. Let us call for a national day of prayer and invite all no matter what religion to participate. Let us pray for peace, for wisdom for His Majesty, for ourselves. Let the watchword be unity and let’s rise above ourselves. You are so rich in the Tongan way remember your heritage for it is way of love, of respect and of sharing. It is not a way of burning buildings, trashing cars and killing. All who affirm the use of violence admit it is only a means to achieve justice and peace. But peace and justice are nonviolence… the final end of history.

Those who abandon nonviolence have no sense of history. Rather they are bypassing history, freezing history, betraying history.” - André Trocmé

Let us then renounce violence and choose this day too work together.

With all my love your friend

Larry Norton

Norton_family [at] sbcglobal [dot] net