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NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Aug. 4) – Prince Tu‘ipelehake is set to lead the striking civil servants on a planned march to the King set for Monday August 8 if Government still does not accept their plea by tomorrow, Friday August 5.

Vuna Fa‘otusia, the Secretary of the Public Servants Association Interim Committee, told the 3,000 striking civil servants who poured into Pangai Si‘i, on August 3 for the thirteenth day of the national strike, that the Prince, a Nobles’ Representative and nephew of the king, would lead the march.

Vuna also called for the support of all the people of Tonga to gather together at Pangai Si‘i on Monday to join the march.

He also said that this next step of marching and presenting their grievances to the King had always been considered from the beginning of the strike but it was put aside because the King is elderly and they did not want to bother him at the last moments in life.

Vuna added that it changed when they recently met with HRH Prince Tu‘ipelehake who encouraged them to carry out the march, and offered to lead them.

The striking civil servants and the hundreds of supporters gathered at Pangai Si‘i loudly cheered in response to this new development.

Meanwhile, the doctors, nurses and staff at Vaiola Hospital following a meeting on Tuesday, have written to the Minister of Health, Hon. Dr Viliami Tangi, expressing their displeasure with the government’s delay tactics of settling the public servants strike.

They stated that they fully support what the Public Service Association is doing.

A doctor who was at the meeting said a majority have agreed to go on strike on Friday if there is no resolution to the crisis.

Thursday, August 4, 2005

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