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Seeking justice and freedom

Auckland, New Zealand

Dear Editor,

Thank you so much for keeping us up-to-date with the current situation in Tonga.

I have been following the development of the event closely, and would like to say that if the key problems are not rightly located and properly acknowledged, solutions would be very difficult to find.

What was initially meant to be a PSA-Government issue has created concerns at the regional and international levels. Culturally, we have protocols for solving our problems, and the PSA has gone through that peacefully. Unfortunately, the royal family 'the guardian of tradition' and Government ignored that traditional way of solving the issue, and as a result facing the consequences e.g. torched houses and vehicles.

I do condemn the use of violence by sympathisers of the PSA, but I am also very disappointed that the royal family and Government are closing their ears and eyes to the seriousness of the situation. The PM 'clearly incompetent and without integrity' resorted to use of force. The king and royal family are hiding here in Auckland (under the guise of medical check up) amidst protests by Tongans and the unfolding of their corruptions by the NZ media.

A leader with integrity has nothing to hide, and does not resort to use of force. When integrity is lost, all is gone. I think it would not be inappropriate to speak of a 'post-monarchical Tonga. Psychologically and emotionally, majority of the Tongan public and diaspora communities have no more hope in the monarchy. The destiny of the royal family is in their own hands. Feudalism is no longer relevant in this post-modern era.

The Royal family and Government need to acknowledge that the real issue is not salary increase per se; it is indeed justice and freedom! When people recognize and acknowledge that they are exploited and oppressed, they are empowered to seek justice and achieve liberation. That is exactly what the PSA and the Tongan public are doing.

I, like others, am praying for peace in Tonga. Peace is a rare commodity in this violent world of ours. I am also imagining a day when we can all live and work together in "solidarity and unity." God willing, that day is surely coming!

Grace and peace

Justin Kepa
Auckland, NZ
nvak003 [at] ec [dot] auckland [dot] ac [dot] nz