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PRs breached Public Trust

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA


I concur with your 19 July, 2007 editorial: "Tonga's political reform process overshadowed by a sense of injustice."

Regretfully, the accused People's Representatives ('Akilisi Pohiva, 'Uliti Uata, Clive Edwards, 'Isileli Pulu, Lepolo Taunisila) continue working as if nothing had happened. They have breached the hopes and most sacred blessing the public bestows on an elected official in a democratic society: The "Public Trust."

In the eyes of the Law, these PRs are accused of a civil crime of sedition(inciting rebellion against a country's legal authority). But in the public's eye, they are accused of 'criminal' crimes relating to the burning, destroying, and looting of properties belonging to innocent citizens where six people were also killed.

They should be held to a higher standard than ordinary citizens because of their leadership positions. An ordinary citizen is 'innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.' A public official 'loses credibility with the public until proven not guilty.'

These same PRs called for the resignation of former Prime Minister Lavaka Ata when he lost control of the Public Trust. Although the Prince was not accused of any crimes, he did the ethical thing a credible public official would do: He resigned from the Ministry.

As one of those who publicly called for the Prince to resign (in my newspaper column), I have great respect for him for his courage. However, I cannot say the same for Pohiva and Company.

They should heed their own advice to Prince Lavaka Ata and resign.

Sione A. Mokofisi.

samokofisi [at] mac [dot] com