1. Underwater mining in Tonga:
The mineral exploration for sulphides in Tonga is very good news indeed. Let's hope that the Nautilus Minerals adventure in the Tonga Waters will be a successful one. A successful underwater mining means a better economy and brighter future for people at home. The opportunities are endless.
Government must make sure, of course, that Tonga receives a big slice of the profit margin as well as a share of the raw materials found in the mines.
Paula Taumoepeau said that the company will pump sea water back to the sea and remove the 'waste' to Tapuhia. May I suggest that the company not only pump the sea water back to the ocean but also put back the 'waste' to where it originally came from. In that way, the disturbance to marine life will be confined to a minute area of the vast ocean and the environment will not suffer as a consequence of this operation. We may think of the residue as waste but it is in fact quite natural to the sea bed. A better solution all round.
2. Freedom of speech:
Judging by the information available on the Internet about Tonga, I can tell you that it is most disheartening to read more negative news about what goes on at home than any good news. The long running saga of course is the stand off between this person(s) who goes by the pseudonym of Mana Fatulisi and the Government. Mana Fatulisi has now published one allegation after another and by the look of things she/he is holding the upper hand. Apparently, Government goes all out trying to identify the gossip mule. Well good luck.
Whilst that is going on, I would like to ask the Government, please give the freedom of speech back to the Tongan people. Give the media back the right to publish their editorials without hindrance from Government pressure. Give the TBC back the right to run unbiased programmes and give political parties back the right to speak to the people on radios and televisions. For I can tell you now that Mana Fatulisi came to be because the Government muzzled the media. Oh yes, Mana Fatulisi was born as a direct result of Government's Information Policy.
Please let the people of Tonga hear what political candidates who will be contesting the seats in the April General Election say about what their mandates and policies are. Allow them a platform on television and radios and let them debate issues that are vital for the country as a whole. Trying to control information by any means will never work. It simply means that Mana Fatulisi and others tell the world what goes on in Tonga according to how they see it.
Have you ever wondered why the value of the pa'anga fell against the NZD$ and AUD$ recently? I suspect that a combination of occurrences may be responsible; one of which is the corruption allegation involving the Minister of Tourism and the other is the uncertainty of who is actually running the Finance Department in Tonga.
So you see, Government may think that it can control media in Tonga, but it can't control anything abroad, least of all the money market.
'Ofa atu - Senolita Swan
senolita_swan_3 [at] msn [dot] com