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March 6, 2002


Attached is a response to Henrietta Latu’s and Lopeti Latu's letters that you have posted on your website.

[See: Tonga: Why So Blue? and Root Out Corruption In Tonga]


The points that Lopeti has brought up in his letter to the editor are very relevant and important for us as Tongans, whether we are living in Tonga or overseas, to think about and consider.

I don't believe that Lopeti was attacking the Royal family. He was bringing to the forefront issues that involve all of us Tongans. His vendetta is not against the royal family, but against all the corruption that is rooted in the government.

Your question about whether Lopeti would do a better job in their position is irrelevant to the point. Lopeti is not the one in power. He is not the one in office. He is not the issue. He is a fellow Tongan speaking his frustrations towards a system that has failed to serve its people. The whole purpose of the government is to serve its people. Lopeti is a member of the Tongan community and probably a Tongan citizen. He has a right to criticize and ask questions.

I think it is ridiculous that you attack his patriotism just because he is supportive of what the NZ prime minister stated in his press release. First of all, patriotism does not mean to follow blindly. Patriotism is defined as a person's love for his/her country. Thus, through Lopeti's love for his country, he has brought these issues to the forefront so that we can discuss the corruption that is occurring in our island of Tonga. Secondly, many of us who live outside of Tonga are constantly being accused of unpatriotic acts, which I believe to be ludicrous, because we love our homeland. We are continually sending money home. A huge amount of the Tongan economy is supplied by those of us who live outside of Tonga. Yet, we cannot vote, we cannot claim dual citizenship and when we try to speak out on behalf of our families in Tonga, we are labeled as being disrespectful, unpatriotic, un-Tonganlike etc.

And as to your question regarding "constructive criticism"...well how do you define constructive criticism? Because it seems to me that any type of criticism is condemned by the Tongan government, unless you have the royal birth line or birthright to back you up when you speak out.

I vehemently disagree with your analysis that it is the "middle men" that give the top a bad name. We all know that the middle man's words are not worth crap (I am using that word metaphorically) without the royal powers backing him up. Come on Henrietta, give us a break!! And as for the good things that the royal family has done, we all know and they know that it is all for show!

Regarding your statement:

"They do not hog the benefits at all."

Henrietta, wake up and remove the royal shackles from your mind for it is distorting your sense of sight!!!!!

M. F. Tupou Email: 

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