3 Sep 2004

Call for Tongan government to inform public about ministerial changes

10:18 am on 3 September 2004

Tonga's pro-democracy movement has accused the government of breaching human rights by allegedly failing to inform the public of changes to key government posts.

The chairman of the Democracy Movement, the Reverend Simote Vea says, that as head of Tonga's Information Unit, the Prime Minister, should provide information about the dismissals of three ministers last week.

Reverend Vea says the government is not telling anyone why the changes have taken place.

"Everybody tends to assume that it has to be connected to the airlines, with regard the one airline policy. They come back to say it's part of a government reshuffle, I mean you know it's really confused, I mean, what are the main reasons why they have been dismissed."

Reverend Vea says the ministers should have been given a fair hearing instead of being dismissed so abruptly.

Yesterday the government announced that the King had appointed a new foreign minister, a portfolio previously held by his son, Prime Minister, Ulukalala Lavaka Ata.