by REV. DR. MA’AFU’OTU’ITONGA PALU
(‘Api ko ‘Onemalama)
1. What has ‘Akilisi and his Democratic Party ever done for the nation?
Since the foundation of this nation, it was in Kolomotu’a that Christianity was inaugurated. Since the arrival of the two British missionaries, John Thomas and Hutchinson in July 1826, no one had believed the work they had carried out. Lord Ata remained unconverted up to his passing. Only Kolomotu’a concurred with the foundation of Christianity upon the Sia – Ko – Veiongo that led to its acceptance by the nation. But why then do we render support to ‘Akilisi, the man who comes with this anti-Christian Democracy, to be a dictator of this nation? How on earth did today’s anti-Christian sentiments ever came to be deemed as wisdom, through its promotion by the Democracy of ‘Akilisi, that we have tended to swerve accordingly?
Since this nation came of age, no Prime Minister has ever attempted to stop our nation from worship. Only ‘Akilisi, has called upon China, through a letter, to come and help his Government, and stop worship in the schools. Where will we end up, with this Anti – Christian Form of Democracy, that our fellow Kolomotu’a residents tend to support, in Kolomotu’a, nowadays?
2. Education in our nation was found at the Sia – ko – Veiongo. The first school was opened in March 1828. And the people of this Nation were educated there. And we are grateful for the support of the Tupou Dynasty in the education of their people. It has culminated in the establishment of Tupou College, to educate our forefathers, in order that they can serve this nation of ours, in the State and in the Church. Taufa’ahau Tupou IV graduated with his B.A. LL.B from the University of Sydney. On his return, he was gracious to avail his people, of the opportunity to study. And nowadays, our Nation is overflowing with graduates, a legacy of the Tupou Dynasty.
Above all, there is hardly any nation in the world, like Tonga, whose young people are accessible to free education. For those of us living overseas it is very costly to pay for the education of our children in public primary schools. Tonga is blessed with the Royal Family’s legacy, of moving our nation forward, with the education of our people. And is this our wisdom, to attempt to remove the very power which availed us of the opportunity to be educated and become beneficiaries of intellectual development? From whence did our graduates in the Government pursue their studies? Is this the outcome of their educational pursuits, that they do not build up the nation, but instead, try to remove the complete powers of the King? What good will the Nation get out of that? What good will the future of this Nation get from that? If ‘Akilisi and his party cannot build up our nation now, how do you think, that giving him, and his party, more powers, he will then build up the nation?
3. The high standards that Tonga has reached today, in comparison to the Pacific nations, culminate in the Tupou Dynasty’s legacies. Electricity and water are accessible from Nuku’alofa up to Niutoua. The northern island groups have similarly been availed of also the same utilities. It is apparent that the people supporting ‘Akilisi have not visited one of the nations of the Pacific, so that they can personally witness the way of life there. In big nations like Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, only the urban areas are accessible to electricity, water, and paved roads. It is a pity that the remaining rural areas and remote islands are not as fortunate to access electricity, water, and paved roads. These governments had evolved from democracies in the Pacific.
I have personally seen this and I pondered if Tonga had begun as a democracy, without Kings who loved their people and built the nation, and granted the people of the nation, the opportunity to study, and attain intellectual enlightenment. Just imagine, what ‘Akilisi and his PTOA party has done for the nation. Since they came to power, they have been exploiting our small tax revenue to the utmost, because the next election is unpredictable. And that is what is happening among the democratic governments in the Pacific.
But since 1875 the Tupou Dynasty has been steadily proceeding with the building of this nation. It is befitting that we attribute our gratitude accordingly. Major revolutions of monarchical governments were brought about by the unwillingness of the Royal Families to share the assets of the nation with the people of the nation. But fortunately for our little nation, it has been built by the Tupou Dynasty and the lands are shared. ‘Akilisi has just come with his Democracy, to rule oppressively, to breach and crush to pieces the entities which have been developed over many years. As the Tongan saying goes, “ What the wise builds, the fool crushes to pieces. ” What on earth has blinded our people, particularly those of us in Kolomotu’a, that we are unable to see ‘Akilisi’s selfishness, and his hunger for power, to act in a tyrannical manner?
4. What is the so-called form of democracy? Where is the democracy of ‘Akilisi and his party? Is it not, that what is visible, is only ‘Akilisi’s tyranny and lack of direction? Who commanded him to go and build the Park upon the Rubbish Dump? Perhaps that is the sole correct characterization of his Government. It looks good on the surface, but the inside is filled with various toxic rubbish. The ministers’ hunger for power is more visible, because no one is able to speak up, against ‘Akilisi, lest one is suspended from Cabinet. It is indeed sad that this includes those scholars who were beneficiaries of the Royal Legacy of Tonga High School. The mind has been used to entirely sacrifice proper thinking, on the grounds that the little privileges of Ministerial appointment are deemed more valuable. One of the good principles of democracy is media freedom. However, since ‘Akilisi came to power, they have taken the Radio A3Z by force and have it managed by people that one is not aware, from whence they come and whence they had undertaken broadcast journalism education. The usual voices of Radio Tonga are no longer heard, because of ‘Akilisi’s tyranny, given that he does not wish anyone to speak ill of his government administration. And where is his government administration? Is it not, that he is more competent, in opposition, than in government administration?
Lest it gets out of hand, but this is just a case of flying the sail, and upholding it, for the sake of clarification, to the effect, that what is wrong, is extremely wrong. And if there is anything good, let such matters be accordingly appreciated. Kolomotu’a and Tonga, it is my prayer, that we will wake up now. Prevent it, while there is time, this form of tyranny and hunger for power. And it is vital for us, the people of Kolomotu’a, to stand united, and to avoid many candidates running in the next election.