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Illegal-activity vs time

Nuku'alofa, Tonga


Kuou lau hifo he ongoongo kuo ke tuku mai “man loses land after being time-barred by the Judge at Land-Court decision” and it raises a very interesting issue of an “illegal-activity vs time”. Are we saying that an illegal activity of an illegal land grab will be legal after ten years if no action was taken by the owner to reclaim his land? Are we witnessing the most dangerous precedent case in our land laws since its inception in circa 1862.

Would somebody enlightened me on, when and for what reason our Legislative body legislate such an inhuman piece of legislation that made possible for a blatantly illegal activity made legal over time. One may argue in favour of the illegal claim because a “time bar” as a legal instrument against the owner’s claim. But the point is the outcome of the whole legal process is as if the illegal activity made several years before was made legal by this time-bar legislation according to the outcome of this case. The legal owner lost his rightfully inherited land. Both the principle and morality of such piece of legislation are wrong.

The full repercussion of this decision and its impact on our overseas Tongans around the world, I believe, have not yet sink in. But when it does, it will be the cause of the most massive disharmony and disservice ever between the Overseas Tongan Community and Tonga since Tupou IV disallow the similar Land-Grab piece of legislature and Land related piece of idiotic Legislation in circa 1970s from our parliament.

I cannot plead on behalf of the Overseas Tongan community for I will leave it for the rightful people to do so. But individually, my responsibility is just to raise awareness to the issue. But I will also remind our Legislative Assembly that Tonga as a nation cannot survive economically without the Tongan diaspora overseas. Our King has asked us regardless of where you are to work together and rebuild Tonga. This case is the direct opposite.

Tongans overseas operate on a much faster pace timeline than those in Tonga. Ten years is not much to live and help your family in Tonga and manage to save for yourself overseas. By the time one managed to save enough to build or to do whatever with his land the ten years is over. If somebody has done something illegal with your land as in this case then this piece of time-bar legislation will always go against the land owner as in this case.

On what piece of legislation and on whose authority that allows a registered piece of land to re-registered on another name without the permission of the rightful owner.

Faka’apa’apa atu,

Inoke Fotu Huakau