I am glad to hear of the propect that the Tongan Parliament will be opened on Thursday, May 31. However, I am utterly concerned about those five PRs currently undergoing hearing-inquiry in the Court of Law for the charge of sedition in relation to the events of 16/11. To be sure, in a Law Court culprits are considered innocent until proven otherwise. The final pronouncement on their fate of course will have to await the conclusion of their trial.
Pardon my ignorance, but is it lawful that PRs under criminal charges for sedition be admitted to one of the decision-making body of our country? Would they really be granted all their rightful financial benefits funded by taxpayers while they stand trial for crimes committed not only against the Tongan government but also against Tongan citizens?
Is it possible that some legal measures be implemented to prevent them from continuing to enjoy the financial entitlements of their PR vocations while their trial is in progress? Or is Mr. Pohiva justified on insisting that the rule of law is a fraud in our country?
Have I missed out on important informations on this issue? Or is this really a voluntary wastage of computerized ink on a non-issue? It is immensely doubtful that PRs who clearly endorsed the heinous crimes of 16/11 with their towering presence in the midst of lawless rioters are fitting to partake in contemplating the welfare of our country. In what reasonable sense can we still trust these PRs to work for the good of Tongan citizens if they had clearly displayed on 16/11 that they do not have the best interests of all Tongan citizens in mind? Can the crimes of 16/11 ever be justified as the reaction of people under prolongated oppression?
Even if it can be proven that these PRs had the support of the masses for their involvement on 16/11 and for the crimes instigated on that fateful day, it can only serve to show that democracy inevitably invites totalitarianism in the back door. In my opinion, the disadvantaged minority (the Chinese, the Indians, even Tongan businesses) whose properties were looted and subsequently destroyed on 16/11 suffered the ugliest form of oppression in the hands of these so-called fighters for democratic reform.
Now, if at the end of the day these possible culprits do indeed enter the Tongan Parliament, will it not be a clear indication of the democratic component inherent in our Constitution? Since there is a God who is in control of the affairs of this world, I for my part shall gladly commit matters of this kind which are clearly beyond my jurisdictions in his own hands and resolve rather to pray that all Tongan government officials come to a true knowledge of the one mediator between God and humanity, the man Jesus Christ who died for us his enemies that we may be justified before his Celestial Court on the impending day of his wrath.
Rev Dr Ma'afu'otu'itonga Palu
maafu [dot] palu [at] gmail [dot] com