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Edwards was the engineer, but not the Commander

Saipan, Northern Marinanas Islands

Did Clive Edwards really have power to intimidate commoners? Was it really a power or was it a "Kakala Pe"? That essence has just gradually faded away as time goes by.

I wonder what would you do if you were offered by His Majesty the King, the highest rank of the land as the Minister of Police in the Kingdom of Tonga? A Ministry with more than 500 employees, a five digit remuneration package, a title that demands the word "me'’a a" and a diplomatic passport that allows you to travel to almost everywhere in the world in business class. A position that somehow, unofficially, makes it hard for the law of the land to prosecute you on your wrongdoings. What would be your choice?

Take the position and be the King'’s loyal knight, or do you have another choice? Would you refuse it, or would you rather take it and be honoured with "Mate Ma'ae Pule'anga Tonga" and proceed to fulfil the government'’s obligations. It does not matter if the government has a plan of work that focuses on fairness to all (100%) of the people, justifiable and accountable to all transactions that involve the people's ambitions. No one can do everything, even if you are nominated by the people and with the people.

The real issue is do the Prime Minister and his economic advisers have plans to improve the economy? or do they only have short term plans that our children in the future will suffer more than what we already have now? Tonga should focus more and direct some of its resources to applied scientific research on food production, food processing and technology, fish processing, bio-energy, animal production, bio-chemistry, animal and plant protection and many more.

It is true that Clive was probably the chief engineer in fabricating strategies that combat the democratic movement, act to suppress us commoners (only inside Tonga) from expressing our freedom, role on Chinese migration to Tonga, prisoners and senior staff members and many more, but isn'’t that quite normal to all human beings, especially if you are one of the Royal Knights. He was the engineer, but not the Commander. He had the authority, but did not have the power. The power was with the PM.

How many world leaders now, they are in power after years of being inside the government, got disturbed by the system, and finally realised that they must challenge the government system? They are now outside, a different perspective. They are now stronger and more prepared to stand...–up against the system. To name a few, Khadafi, Musharaf, Rabuka, Anote Tong, Ma'atia Toafa and many more. 'Akilisi Pohiva was with the government. This is not to say that we are anti-government. We are all for a fair, just, resourceful and an accountable government. That is the bottom line.

I strongly felt that Clive Edwards would be an excellent candidate who will represent us well. He was inside the government, trained by the system, loved and moulded by the government and he knows everything inside the government. It is his turn now to struggle and pave the way for us, and our youth, who are already at high risks. He should be different from Mahe.

Always bear in mind that there are people who have guts and intuition to move out of the system and speak out the truth from their heart. We have a Tongan saying, "Lea 'Aki Ho Loto". Clive had the guts to step down as told. I strongly believe that he is prepared to protect the people from ongoing abuse, from nepotism and favouritism, and from unfair treatment. It is time for a real change. This is a change from better to the best, from good to excellent, from divided to a unified Tonga, and from the low class poor Tongan to a "same" class one level Tongans.

Edgar Cocker,
Saipan, Northern Marinanas Islands, USA


US Tongan not allowed to stay in Tonga - Georgina Roberts:
A short reply to Saipan's letter. I think you and Edwards had enough saying about the welfare of our people. He served his time working for our small Kingdom with "Two Faces." Or maybe I am mistaken, he might have more than two faces, and you must be blind to even support anything that the man has to offer. I am a Full Tongan, have a 5 years old US citizen son who went to stay with his grandparents, so that he can go to school in Tonga. But the old man you're proud of would not allow my little boy to stay that long in my homeland.
- Georgina Roberts, Walnut Creek, CA. USA

We are all accountable for past actions - Edgar Cocker:
Accountability and un-finished business

I feel compelled to respond to Georgina Roberts’ fruitful comment of 1 February 2005. I could not agree with her more than what she has already mentioned. You are not the only victim of the immigration policy referred to. It affects almost all of us.

I read some other letters, which in my view seem to overlook the most vital point. As a strategist, I am hoping that we come up with a strategy that will work in our favour. None of us can deny the fact that we support 100% all of the candidates, they are all wonderful.

It has come to our attention that many government officials do require commitment to valuing the importance of truth, honesty, and ethical conduct in all practices. This has not been the case as we ourselves see it. We all felt that the system is somehow making us more divided, and we are either confronting more or less difficulties than ever before. Fortunately, the global strive for a new world order of peace and prosperity will always be in our favour. We will succeed in the long run and that is a fact of life. We are currently moving towards a more democratically elected government system.

Mr Edwards was inside the government for almost a decade. He was given the bayonet, and for him to use it wisely and fairly. With due respect to him and to others that may be inflicted by my comment, he did made good use of the authority to the best of his ability and to the fullest. How it was impacted on us commoners was far more than what we had expected. In our view, it was too much, and surely caused a lot of mess and chaos. We suffered, we mumbled, we cried, and we constantly complained but no one was there to console us. Luckily we had the best ammunition of civilisation, and that was the law of the land. It was expensive, but I am led to believe that we won. The Heavenly Father is alive and he dearly felt for us, his sheep.

Now what is next? I for one have no doubt that someone is absolutely accountable for the past actions he had made. He needs to prove that his integrity worth more than a pleasant word of the mouth. We are all accountable for what we did and surely enough, no one would keen to be responsible for someone'’s past actions. There is an unfinished business(es) I deeply believe that no one, but the chief engineer should be responsible for strategically correcting it.

Thank you, Edgar Cocker, Saipan, Northern Marianas Islands

Foreign Affairs, not Police, handle immigration - Clive Edwards:

Response to:”US Tongan not allowed to stay in Tonga”

Dear Editor,

I would like to inform Georgina Roberts that the Immigration Division was transferred from the Ministry of Police to the Foreign Affairs Ministry 5 years ago. Probably her 5 year old boy was not born then or only learning to crawl let alone trying to go to school.

Immigration matters are handled by the Immigration officers who are delegated the authority to administer the Immigration Act and to handle all applications for visas. The only time an immigration case is referred to me, as a Minister, arise if there is an appeal against the immigration decision or if there is a special written or verbal direction required from the Minister.

In this case I can say quite positively the example given by Georgina Roberts had not come before me or her explanation is totally suspect.

It's these types of fictitious stories that have given me a bad name. …

In Kalafi Moala's case there was a number of false statements made to Immigration and Police, including making a false declaration for a Tongan passport and falsely answering a question whether he was naturalised or not. All these things came to the fore as a result of Tupouto'a's motion in Parliament to imprison him and his claim to American citizenship. He requested the American Consulate in Suva to visit him as an American citizen who was imprisoned in Tonga. All these things resulted in the Police and Immigration looking at his file again and the true position noted.

He was not deported from Tonga but left on his own free choice to have a free start in New Zealand after the Bank of Tonga seized his business and assets, including his newspaper.

Yours faithfully, Clive Edwards