DEVASTATED TONGA PUTS OFF CORONATION OF KING

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 30) – The Tongan government has announced that the planned coronation of King George Tupou V has been deferred by a year because of the destruction caused by the riots two weeks ago.

The coronation is now set for August 1st 2008.

The Matangi Tonga website says the postponement will allow the government to focus on rebuilding Nuku’alofa.

King George Tupou V came to the throne in September following the death of his father, King Taufahau Tupou IV.

[PIR editor’s note: Meanwhile, according to a story Tuesday posted by Radio New Zealand International, Lopeti Senituli, who advises Tongan Prime Minister Feleti Sevele, charged that Honolulu academic Sitiveni Halapua is campaigning to have Sevele removed because of his own political ambitions. Halapua – who at the request of the Tongan Government is on secondment  from the East-West Center in Hawaii in order to lead the Parliamentary National committee on Political Reform – in recent interviews with New Zealand and Tongan news media blamed Sevele for the Nov. 16 riots in Nukualofa and asked him to step down.]

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