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Letters

The kau to'a way

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Editor

Up until yesterday 20/1/07, I wasn’t aware that Sione Lousiale Kava (or ‘Sio’ to make a long name short) sent a second letter entitled, ‘I promised,’ to your website. I received an email from him earlier about the same article. I responded telling him I would accept his challenge on one condition: if he is to visit me then I want it the kau to’a way. By the kau to’a way I mean a fair, one-on-one, toho ma’a between him and me. I told him not to email me again unless to tell me where and when the toho ma’a contest is to be held. Unfortunately he insisted on visiting me ‘when I least expected’. But I tried to explain to him that that’s an act of cowardice. This is called ‘lapa’ in Tonga. ‘Lapa’ is when one, realizing that a fair match with a better opponent is suicidal, would wait for the right moment to attack his enemy when he is not looking. That’s exactly what the Japanese did at Pearl Harbour in World War II.

Looking now at what he said, I realize that this man is too old to be facing the much younger, stronger, faster, braver, ‘matapoto’ (and better-looking of course) guy like me in a fair match, because if he grew up back then in Kolomotu’a with my uncles, and was at the peak of his youth in the 70’s, then he must be in his 50’s by now. If so, then my first advice to him is: ‘tuku a e hia he kuo ke motu’a’. The other thing is he seems to be over ‘a’avea about Kolomotu’a and his role in the US Marines so my second advice: ‘tuku e fie Kolomotu’a he ko e kau Tu’anuku. Pea tuku e lau sotia he ko e ngaue ia ‘oku hu ki ai e vale mo e poto ‘o tatau pe mo e tanu hala’.

On the other hand, how dare you to refer to me as ‘small minds’ when I sit in my room at night and study mathematics and philosophy as a hobby while you run around in the Iraqi desert with a helmet and a gun shooting chickens and rats for a living? You said, ‘people with small minds only see the damages to a property’. Well, in that case, I say people with simple minds ignore the damages and hold on to memories. Now you tell me: with regards to the owners of the lost businesses, the government and the economy as a whole, which topic do you think is more important to them? (i) The destroyed businesses and the means to recover them or (ii) The memories of what Nuku’alofa used to look like? The national central issue is the lost businesses and the means to recover them but since your concern is about memories of what the capital used to look like, then your concern is not about the national central issue - it is about something personal to you only. My third advice to you: ‘There is a huge difference between the current national issue of 16/11 and your own personal issue of 16/11. The difference is: to recover, the former requires millions of dollars, while the latter requires a visit to the psychiatrist.

Control is a function of the law and not the faifekau. A faifekau is not supposed to control his congregation. He is supposed to speak to them and the rest is up to the congregation. How sensible is it? You do as you wish but would like the congregation to be controlled by the faifekau.

You demanded an apology for the damages but let me ask: who do you think you are: a business owner with a lost business or the Mayor of Nuku’alofa? My fourth advice: it is always easier to hold the weak and the poor responsible for any state of affairs than to accuse a Tyranny of denying its subjects their right to choose their leader, or of being oppressive.

Aren’t you ashamed, for your age, of publicly calling yourself the, ‘Desert Warlord’ or ‘Mafi ‘o Amerika Samoa’ ? From my viewpoint, that’s quite childish. They say in Tonga, ‘ko e kaaimumu’a lahi’, and that’s exactly the case. This will be my last letter on this topic as, like I told you, I’m concerned much more about the concerns of the oppressed people of Tonga than about the unimportant affairs of individuals.

Finally, for all those including you whether overseas or in Tonga who still have doubts about 16/11, I give you this question:

In the Old Testament, who do you think should be blamed for the plagues inflicted by God, through Moses, on Pharaoh and Egypt? (i) Moses and the people of Israel …– for demanding their freedom from Pharaoh and his government or (ii) Pharaoh and his government - for refusing to give Moses and the people of Israel their freedom?

Faka’apa’apa atu

Joseph PT Holani