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Whole House Committee passed Prime Minister’s Office Ministerial report

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 03/02/2017

Members of the Legislative Assembly yesterday raised concern over the Prime Minister – ‘Akilisi Pohiva’s comment on the issue between Indonesia and West Papua, there concern was whether it is legal or not.

The issue was raised in Parliament during the deliberations on the annual report of the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday.

The issue caused heated debates where the Prime Minister also raised different issues which erred from what they were discussing.

Lord Nuku – Nobles Representative of ‘Eua to Parliament says the Prime Minister is a PUBLIC FIGURE and when he comments on any issue in international meetings he’s representing all of Tonga and its people.

The Prime Minister then responded – he was not trying to intervene on the colonization issue but what he spoke of relates to an international issue of violating human rights – referring to the torture of West Papuans.

Lord Nuku asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that what he’s doing is causing international unhealthy relationships between the two nations of Indonesia and West Papua.

In Response, the Prime Minister said, there was a fugitive from Fiji that is being kept in Tonga – why didn’t they raised concern on that issue rather than attacking him alone.

However, the deliberations then moved on to other issues including the Park in Popua.

It was raised in Parliament that the Prime Minister himself, denied any involvement of the Government in this park. BUT in his Office report presented yesterday, this project is under the Prime Minister’s Office development project.

However, ‘Akilisi Pohiva says this was an outside project – it was firstly initiated as a development project outside the Government, and it was made possible through many assistances from the Public and Government’s Boards, including monetary assistance from the Marine and Ports, Tonga Power Limited, TOP$35,000 aid from the Chinese Ambassador, building of fences by the prisoners and others.

The Prime Minister also says that the residents of Popua and Patangata will reap the benefits of the development in the area as they will have more job opportunities.

He also confirmed that the cows kept at the Park are his, and he spoke of the benefit – where the cows feed on the grass in the area and he has his share from the cow’s meat, this reduces cost of mowing the area.

Lord Tu’ilakepa then questioned the Prime Minister on why Tongatapu 4 constituency is his priority and not his own constituency – BUT THE Prime Minister said, he has plans in place for Kolomotu’a and will be implemented after this park is completed.

The Prime Minister’s Office report was approved by the Whole House Committee with 16 in favor.

© Radio and Television Tonga News