In light of recent media reports that the Courts are imposing more suspended sentences due to overcrowding in Tonga's prison system, the following clarification is provided for the information of the public and better understanding: 1. The Courts do not suspend sentences because of prison overcrowding. 2. Provision of adequate prison facilities and related services is the responsibility of the Executive Government. 3. Upholding the rule of law and administering justice in the Kingdom is the responsibility of the Judiciary and the Courts. .... Michael Whitten QC, Lord Chief Justice of the Kingdom of Tonga.
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Results for Letters
Friday 26 March 2021
Tuesday 16 March 2021
Personally, I place big question marks at the choice of some of the businesses mentioned in this article. I do not have the experience with them myself that they seriously try to avoid or reduce using plastic bags. But aside from that, those who are really serious have my full support. If used wisely plastic has enough advantages in order not to want to do away with it. It is de laziness of people which is the problem. -Firitia.
Monday 15 March 2021
‘Oku tatala ma’u pe e pulonga ‘o e fifili he taimi ‘oku fasitanunu e ngaahi kaupeau he halafononga ‘o e tangata ha vaaita ‘o e lau ‘ene sivilaise. ‘Oku tu’ula ai ha fifili kiha felave’I ‘o e ngaahi peau faka-mamani-lahi ‘oku ha ho’o kupenga-ope he mahina ‘uluaki ‘o e 2021. Ka, ‘oku tohoaki e tokanga kiha kaveinga ‘e ua kuo ofongi ‘e he Matanga Tonga. ‘Uluaki ko e “Corruption kills people - Hanga 'e he Faihala 'o Faka'auha 'a e Fonua”; ua, ko e “Covid-19” ‘I hono ngaahi fotunga kehekehe. Fakatou’osi kinaua ‘oku na lave’i e ‘Otu Tonga. - 'Inoke Fotu Hu’akau.
Monday 1 March 2021
The debate over whether or not to turn to the deep sea to secure the resources we need for a low-carbon future has generated much public interest, but it is critical that this debate is founded upon sound science and the best data currently available. As such, I would like to correct a number of misrepresentations in the letter of Feb. 25 from the Civil Society Forum of Tonga. - Christina Pome'e, Tonga Offshore Mining Ltd.
Thursday 25 February 2021
Deep Sea Mining (DSM) of polymetallic nodules in the Pacific Ocean is not essential for a renewables revolution. There would be massive amounts of waste produced and discharged to the ocean. The discharge plumes may also be quite toxic, with metals and processing agents. As Pacific Islanders already know - what happens in the deep doesn't stay in the deep. - Pelenatita Kara, Civil Society Forum of Tonga.
Monday 4 January 2021
At the current pace of repatriation it will take over a year to return home all of those abandoned abroad. We run the risk of slipping into the depths of economic and mental depression, and we may see the fragmentation of our society, both at home and abroad, if we don’t immediately grasp the advent of vaccines and start building the bridges. At Easter it will be a full year from the closing of the border. It is time to prepare for the “new beginning”, the new life. By Paul Karalus.
Friday 11 December 2020
I agree with you that the PACER Plus trade agreement is of questionable benefit for Tonga. But I do not share your concern for Tonga’s trade deficit. Over the last year, Tonga’s foreign reserves have increased about 19% to the equivalent of nearly 10 months’ imports. If the balance of trade were a problem for Tonga, its foreign reserves would be declining. - Leigh Harkness
Saturday 21 November 2020
Fasi mo e Afi, Tonga
The first question of course is: what are Tongan traditions or traditional customs? Traditions in any place at any time are continuously subject to changes, especially in, what Chinese call, 'interesting' times. One thing is clear: you had in pre-missionary times chiefs and commoners. The commoners were essentially slaves, and any chief could do with them as he pleased. Briefly: the word of the chief was the law. So no need any more of judges, laws or even a Constitution. And after this law change we do not need churches any more, as they are not traditional, and all the faifekau will be fired. And, of course, most parliamentarians are commoners. - Firitia.
Thursday 22 October 2020
The Tonga Law Society is deeply concerned at the amendment to the Constitution of Tonga passed unanimously by Parliament on 15 October 2020. In bypassing the consultation process, Parliament has denied the Tongan people the most fundamental right to be heard on a matter of elemental importance to every Tongan subject. - Sione Tu'itavake Fonua, President, Tonga Law Society
Friday 2 October 2020
In 1984, I had the privilege of meeting the Hon. Tasi Fakafanua at the Otago University in Dunedin. His memory has stayed with me for almost 40 years, as has my love for Tonga. I hope to visit one day before I am too old. Rev. Cameron Reeder.
Monday 28 September 2020
Stunning sand loss at Ha'atafu Beach on Tongatapu is revealed in two photos taken nearly 50 years apart.
Wednesday 1 July 2020
Ko e taha e fehu‘i tefito hotau fonua he ‘aho ni ko e fatongia ‘o e Hou‘eiki mo e Nopele ki he Fa‘unga Pule ‘o e ‘aho ni. Pea ko e hoha‘a ‘oku ma‘alifekina pe kohai ‘oku nau fakafofonga‘i ‘i Fale Alea. Pea he ‘ikai teu toe lave ki he faikehekehe ‘o Nopele mo e Hou‘eiki Tauhi Fonua he ko e kupu si‘i mo e lahi ‘o e me‘a tatau.. ‘Inoke Fotu Hu‘akau.
Wednesday 17 June 2020
Kau fakatalanoa mu’a ki he uho ‘o e palopalema ‘oku tau fehangahangai moia ‘i he lolotonga, pea ‘oku ‘i ai ‘eku tui te tau hokohoko atu ki he kaha’u pea toe kovi ange.- 'Inoke Fotu Huakau.
Tuesday 26 May 2020
Time has given Tonga a great opportunity to prepare itself for the virus and any cases that it might produce. The question is, has this time been used wisely and with urgency to prepare Tonga for the future risks? Those risks, however small, exist even now. Aid money is coming in. Using that to build up the capacity of the health system now means that this can be kept for the future. Wouldn’t it be great if Vaiola were to have a state-of-the-art five-bed ICU that can treat anyone who needs that level of care even after CoViD-19 abates? The staff can do it, if only the facility is there. And it could be. And so we await the arrival of the virus. I hope Tonga is well prepared when it does.... - Dr Russ Schedlich
Monday 25 May 2020
As there is no virus and we still live under restrictions, what does this mean for the future? As government seems “happy” with the curfew, will a curfew now become part of our daily life? Does it really reduce crime? Or are we now in a period of moral justification for limiting people’s freedom? - Dean Bishoprick
Thursday 21 May 2020
Hon. Prime Minister: Does my country, Tonga, expect me to break the United States law and be punished by it, because our Tongan government can’t even open up their borders even for a limited period of time for their citizens who are stuck worldwide to come home? What the Tongan country expects me to do, after my visa expires, especially when the US government have made no exceptions to allow us international students to stay in the US longer than we’re supposed to. - Salaetau Tuita
Wednesday 29 April 2020
Tonga's economy is going to suffer as a result of this pandemic with a decline in remittances and the complete shutdown of the tourism sector - the two largest sources of foreign exchange for the Kingdom. We urge the government to lift the six weeks old restrictions on bars, clubs and restaurants. While the borders remain closed, why must we stay closed? We employ over 300 people. - Tonga Bar, Club & Restaurant Association.
Monday 27 April 2020
Mounu Island, Vava'u
Humpback Whales have been coming to Tonga since the distant past, they were almost wiped out during the hunting years. Numbers are climbing back. But for how long can we maintain the fragile balance of tourist and whale? Vava’u cannot sustain more boats out on the water. In these times with CoVid-19 and an unsure future for the tourism industry, it is very hard to have any hope or faith in commitment from government for a sustainable industry and conservation of the whales, when they are seen as an avenue for more revenue.- Kirsty Bowe
Friday 24 April 2020
Most activities have been re-opened so why are bars and kava clubs still restricted? The answer can’t be to ensure that we adhere to social distancing – instead it must be an attempt to regulate the social activities to make sure we stay away from alcohol and kava, an unstated goal of the police and health ministries for years. It might be time to consider the positive side of these businesses as they provide a more healthy outlet for people than drinking in the streets or cars and they pay wages that help keep the economy going. - Dean Bishoprick
Friday 17 April 2020
A great number of Tongan citizens remain stranded overseas and are eager to return home and be reunited with their families, not considering the fact that they are possibly under hardship or financial stress. We appeal to the Government to please devise a solution for us to return. - Stranded Tongans.