TONGA ‘SILENT MAJORITY’ PETITIONS KING FOR PEACE

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TONGA ‘SILENT MAJORITY’ PETITIONS KING FOR PEACE

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Tonga Now,) – A petition said to be from the "silent majority" was today presented to His Majesty King George Tupou V.

One thousand eight hundred and ninety four signatories supported the petition’s request, amongst other things, for the rescinding of the Memorandum of Understanding with the seven Peoples Representatives, citing that the representatives’ beliefs and actions are not representative of their [stated] views.

The petition calls for the continuation of Cabinet’s plans and proposals for political reform and further seeks assurance that the reform will not be hurried. Supporters of the petition want the restoration of peace and order, and the freedom to voice their opinions without fear of being ostracized.

The petition was also submitted to the Prime Minister Hon Feleti Sevele and the Speaker of Parliament Hon Tu’iha’angana.

RIO [Tonga Reform Information Office] understands that the petition is not the construction of a particular group but rather a collaboration by like-minded individuals, ranging from professionals and academics to concerned citizens, who have contributed and merged their views. Because large meetings of five or more people are discouraged under the current state of emergency in Tonga, the petition was compiled through phone-calls and other forms of communication rather than a gathering. Copies were then taken to homes throughout Tongatapu. People were given the opportunity to read the contents, and the choice to sign in support.

It appears the petition continues to grow in popularity, with over 50 more signatures received later in the day. There are reportedly plans for circulation of the petition in the outer islands as well as abroad.

Tonga Now is the website of the Reform Information Office, a unit within the Office of the Minister of Finance. The unit was established to assist the Minister of Finance in disseminating information to the public.

Tonga Now: http://www.pmo.gov.to/artman/publish/index.shtml#

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