This may be of interest to one or two of your readers.
I read Senituli's concern about Ms. Paynes letters to the Editor.
I believe I know just enough about Ms. Payne and her line of thinking to offer an opinion.
Mele Payne has been saying this all along:
1. Tonga needs to develop its economy
But she is mad arguing this:
2. Any economic development is impossible with the current government in power, so she, rigorously argues to the point of being rude pushed for this:
3. A Political Change
I submit that Ms. Paynes madness is directed at the Prime Minister because:
4. The PM is the one prominent leader that stands in the path of her politician change.
Being bombarded with unkind and rude treatment is an inherent part of the responsibilities assumed by public figures and political leaders along with the benefits and honors of the office. So, Mr. Lopeti Senituli will have to encourage the PM to hang in there. His skin will be hardened over the years.
The issue here is whether to concur or disagree with Ms. Paynes findings and conclusions.
I happen to disagree with Ms. Payne. I am of the persuasion that Economic Development is possible in Tonga and very possible with the current government in power. Moreover, I disagree that a political change is a prerequisite for economic development.
Economic is a study of "what worked or did not work yesterday or in the past". Economist analysis what worked or did not work in the past.
Any economist will agree with me that Tonga with its form of government and culture, has been resilient and resourceful for many years making a healthy living and a thriving culture in the face of very limited resources. Tonga has done well with very little for so long.
The sad order of business is that Tonga is now being asked to do much more; to feed, house and educate more people in a growing population with more or less of the same depleting resources.
I'll ask Ms. Payne these questions again. What new resources does Tonga have that would attract the interest of today's economic developers? What does Tonga offer now that was not there in the past that would make a democratic government do better? What reason can you produce to expect a better success from that any other form of government?
I am concern that with Ms. Paynes school of thoughts, someone may impose a totally foreign western style economic idea in Tonga that may cost Tonga the flexibility that has held itself for generations of cultures and living. This will be a huge mistake. I do not denounce all modern economic initiative. However, I am not convinced that any or all western economical model that have worked in the United States and other more developed countries especially those countries rich in natural resources, will also work in Tonga.
Tonga's problem now may be more of the aftermath of not adhering to universally accepted sound sustainable economic activities and savvy business practices. These can be taught, understood and implemented under the current form of government. We can all agree that some of Tonga's problem is human and cultural in nature. A democratic government or any other type of government for that matter may not be able to
Ms. Payne I think this name calling and character assassination as we refer to in the States is getting old ineffective are are aggravating to a lot of people. Senituli, don't tell us, rather show us that we are wrong about the PM and his plans.
Mafi 'o Amerika Samoa
slkava [at] samoatelco [dot] com