I read your article regarding the initial concessions or availability of funds ($56MM) from the China loan. Tonga's PM negotiated the reconstruction expense portion of the loan (general contractors and labor), to be filtered right back to China's economy. While the outstanding amount hangs in the balance in Tonga's budget debt.
It's been enlightening to observe the unwillingness of neighboring countries even western countries where thousands even tens of thousands of Tongan expatriates reside, turning away Tonga's request for reconstruction loans. And we all know why, and whom.
Instability, instability, instability. The government continues its public relations guise with nice little forums and little socio events to pass the time and camouflage Tonga's political black-eye. And the darkness that covers Tonga's politics is literally and exactly that, deep black - the tri-partite committee, the house assembly, the PR's. What do Tonga's leaders have to hide? Can the king speak out regarding the country's political affairs and state of an evolving nation? Or is that below aristocracy? Or perhaps the job of a puppet PM.
The leader of the most powerful country in the world holds a state of the union address, his ideas are expressed transparently. Tonga has media blackouts. How far we've come.
When I first heard of the democratic movement in Tonga, I did not think it appropriate for Tonga and her culture. Today, it is a necessity. Is it right for Tonga, it remains to be seen. But I believe too many Tongans have already traveled too far down the road of expectancy. During the World Cup I observed the pride and optimism Tongans celebrated in the off-spring of
opportunity and a glimpse of what Tongans can achieve in world class level.
A group of our boys, under-compensated and merely mis-represented by their country, stepped humbly before the world's sport theatre and showed humanity Tonga's capability. And this is only one arena among many of possible achievements that should be happening in Tonga, not just in France.
Other countries should be knocking on our door to sponsor and help build these opportunities to help improve world society, with Tongans as active participants. Unfortunately, until the perception of instability and an overhaul of government takes place, I can't see another country handing Tonga squat. Or is that squash.
Perhaps the 'Ikale Tahi in the next World Cup may serve as a reminder of what could/should have been.
asanft [at] mangofinancial [dot] com
Editor's note - There is no Media Blackout in Tonga. The independent press is flourishing despite a depressed economy.