Sunday, September 10, 2006

Farewell to the King of Tonga

from Wendy

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.


Momo the Wonder Dog said...
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Pandabonium said...

(Momo was speaking out of turn).

Maybe people who inherited their wealth and power will miss him, and those who are traditionalists or accept the system they were born under. How can a country of only 100,000 have such huge amounts in the treasury? How can people have respect for those who squandered it?

I had Tongan friends in Hawaii, who left to escape the poverty and would send back funds to there extended family.

It seems to me the king resisted needed changes for decades and allowed a lot of corruption and foolish waste to go on for way too long. Perhaps now there will be a chance for some genuine reforms and all that money that comes in from ex-pat Tongans will be better spent and help improve the lives of those still in the country.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

I wonder what was in that earlier comment! There were strange events in Tonga - that court jester for example, and the ease in Chinese gaining visas. The Tongan people are in a quandery because they want to show respect for tradition but at the same time many want a fair go for ordinary people. The democracy movement there is persisting and eventually there will be a fairer outcome.