13 Nov 2003

Tongan PM says Tongan soldiers and police to remain in Solomons as long as needed

11:13 am on 13 November 2003

The visiting Tongan prime minister, Prince 'Ulukalala Lavaka Ata, has told Solomon Islands parliamentarians that the fortunes and misfortunes of their country are in their hands.

Prince 'Ulukalala told the National Parliament in his address that only Solomon Island leaders could ensure that the country enjoys peace and harmony.

The prime minister, who visited a 29-member Tongan Platoon at Malu'u on North Malaita, said his soldiers and police would remain in Solomon Islands as long as their presence is required.

However Prince 'Ulukalala said that local leaders must learn to ensure the fortunes of their country are ascertained.

The Speaker of Parliament, Sir Peter Kenilorea said the assistance by Tongan soldiers and police in the restoration of law and order, and visits by the Island Kingdom's dignitaries affirm loving actions of a friendly neighbour.