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NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga (March 12, 1998 - PACNEWS)---A scientific research station and "think tank," to be known as Lupelahi, will be established on Foa Island of Tonga's Ha'apai Group by the Lupelahi Foundation Trust.

In addition to Tonga, the institution's work will benefit other countries in the South Pacific region, Radio Tonga reports.

Professor Kurt During is Director of Lupelahi and Werner Gehle is Secretary. Both are German nationals.

According to Professor During, the primary purpose of the station is to serve as a "think-tank," focusing on the role of tradition in achieving sustainable development.

Lupelahi will be conducting research in a variety of academic fields, During said, including minority affairs, Pacific history, marine biology, archaeology, ethnology, economics and anthropology.

The patron of the trust is Tonga's King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, while the Tongan government's Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet, Taniela Tufui, is Chairman.

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