Sunday, September 10, 2006
Farewell to the King of Tonga
in today's Fiji live news:
Pacific mourns late Tongan king
The whole of the Pacific is saddened by the death of Tongan King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV last night, said Fiji's Foreign Minister Kaliopate Tavola. "Tonga, Fiji and the whole of the Pacific is saddened by King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV's death," Tavola said.
Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase would be issuing a statement later today. Great Council of Chiefs chair Ratu Ovini Bokini said Fiji's chiefs are awaiting official word from government before they decide on the appropriate actions to take.
Some of Fiji's nobles have close blood links to the Tongan monarchy.
King Taufa'ahau died in Auckland's Mercy Hospital last night, ending his 41-year reign.
Fairfax reports that Lord Chamberlain Fielakepa announced the death this morning: "The King of Tonga at peace. The sun has set in the Kingdom of Tonga."
The photograph of the palace at Nukualofa was taken at the time of the King's Coronation and was published in a National Geographic story. I used the picture in a music paper comparing Tongan and Fijian music.
Our condolences go to the people of Tonga, and our Tongan friends in Geelong, Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland and Fiji.