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NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Tonga Government Information Unit, May 5) - In order to ensure that Civil Servants remain apolitical, and to forge a closer link with the community at large, and with various interest groups in the society, Cabinet has approved the appointment of Mr. Lopeti Senituli, to be the press secretary and political advisor to the Prime Minister, the Hon. Dr. Fred Sevele.

Mr. Senituli, who is the present Executive Director of the Tonga Community Development Trust, will not be a member of the Public Service, but will operate as a link between the Prime Minister and the media, the civil society and community groups in Tonga. The appointment outside the Public Service ensures that the Public Service function is not politicized, and that the Government continues to serve the public equally, regardless of political belief and affiliations.

The appointment of Mr. Lopeti Senituli will be for up to as long as the Hon. Dr. Fred Sevele is the Prime Minister, and will be terminated when the Prime Minister is no longer in office.

Mr. Lopeti Senituli, who hails from the village of Fahefa, is no stranger to public advocacy having taken leadership positions in Tonga and the Pacific in the effort to reduce or stamp out such problems as human rights abuse, injustice and corruption, environmental degradation, the marginalization of indigenous people and trade imbalances.

After graduating from the University of the South Pacific, USP, in 1981, with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Graduate Certificate in Education, GCED, Lopeti became a teacher at Tonga High School, heading the English and History Departments from 1982-83. He continued to serve in the Public Service as a Senior Executive Officer in the Ministry of Labour, Commerce and Industry, before serving in various executive positions in other organizations in the Pacific. He is a former member of the Board of the Tonga Rugby Union, and is currently a lay preacher of the Free Wesleyan Church.

With this appointment of Mr. Lopeti Senituli, a true advocate of justice, good governance and the welfare of the people, the Prime Minister, the Hon. Dr. Fred Sevele continues to build bridges to the various interest groups in the nation, and to foster a spirit of unity and togetherness for the sustainable and equitable development of the country as a whole.

May 17, 2006

Tonga Government Information Unit:

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