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“Unless Capital punishment is re-enforced…”

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Opinion by Rev Dr Ma'afu Palu of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga.


Unless Capital punishment is re-enforced, we will continue to see this increasing trend in both quantity and severity of murder in Tonga. I recall that after the last time capital punishment was given to three brothers from Lapaha for chopping to death a Vaini man with machetes beside the road (I can't remember the year, but it was in the 1980s), the regularity of murders was almost brought to a halt. Our Constitution was established on the basis of sound biblical insights that place a very high value on human life. And capital punishment is demanded in the Bible by the God who created life. A much quoted passage in this regard is Genesis 9:6 which states that “whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.” God's justice for murder is fair - a life for a life. Let us not believe in the modern argument that this sense of justice is outdated. Unless murder is considered "outdated" then we should consider Capital punishment as also outdated. Capital punishment is not only fair but has shown to be powerful enough in Tonga to deter any would-be murderers from taking it lightly. What I am saying is not a matter of re-instating Capital punishment to our Constitution, for it is already there. It is simply a matter of re-applying it again. To hear of murders every week in this past two weeks is too much for a small country like Tonga.