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Decision to ban all bakeries and restaurants from operating on Sunday to be effective this Sunday, July 3rd

(Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 01/07/2016)

The Cabinet decision banning all bakery stores and restaurants from operating on Sundays in Tonga will be effective starting this Sunday – July 3rd.

The Minister of Commerce and Labour who’s also the Minister of Police, Prisons and Fire Services – Hon. Dr. Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa confirmed this while speaking during Parliament’s deliberations this week.

The Minister highlighted, if any business operate they are violating the law and will may end up losing their business license, pay a fine up to TOP$1,000 or spend 6 months in prison.

During Parliament’s deliberations, the noble’s representative number 2 of Vava’u – Lord Tu’ilakepa supported the decision while saying; this has been an issue of concern for the church leaders for many years as they push to keep Sabbath holy.

However many members of the public have spoken to Radio Tonga news today supporting the decision while some are against it.

A Tongan woman visiting Australia – Maniate Faletau told Radio Tonga news she is happy that finally Tonga is making this decision.

I praise God for this day, when the day of the Lord is being kept to be holy and sacred. I am very happy to be here in Tonga, while visiting from Australia and find out this Sunday all bakeries and business are banned from operating”

Joy Schaumkel of Kolomotu’a also supported this.

I support this decision; the day of the Lord according to the 10 commandments includes keeping Sabbath holy. We can buy our bread on Saturday evening so that on Sunday we do not have to worry. I know some of the people are not happy with this decision but we should rejoice because this is the day the Lord has made..”

Some believe when bakeries and restaurants operate on Sunday it has no impact on the holiness of the Sabbath because no violence has ever been reported since operation.

Filisi Cocker explained this is new to Tonga.

Since I grew up, the bakeries have been operating in Tonga. What’s the reason behind this. Tonga is known as the friendly and very respectable country, however our next door, there’s violence there every week, but the bakery there’s no impact there, people only go there to buy bread……..I think I will have to move to a foreign country….”

Viliami Siale of the Western village of Kanokupolu also highlights, if the businesses are banned from operating, the Government should forbid the preparing of ‘umu or the underground baking.

Personally I think it’s not right to close the bakeries so that food is available for the public. If the bakeries are closed then the Government should forbid people from preparing the traditional underground ‘umu because of the smoke..”

The Cabinet decision to ban the operation of bakeries and restaurants on Sunday was pushed forward by the church leaders as they wish to make sure the law of the country to keep Sabbath holy and sacred is effective.

The Cabinet decision to ban the operation of bakeries and restaurants on Sunday was pushed forward by the church leaders as they wish to make sure the law of the country to keep Sabbath holy and sacred is effective.

© Radio & TV Tonga News 2016