8 Aug 2005

Thousands march in Tonga - sign of accumulated dissatisfaction says one of the organisers

9:10 pm on 8 August 2005

More than 10-thousand people marched in support of striking public servants on Monday in what has been called the biggest protest in Tongan history.

Nearly 3-thousand workers have been striking for 18 days, calling for pay increases of up to 80 percent.

Nobles' MP Prince Tu'ipelehake led the march along with members of the interim Public Servants Association.

At the end of the march a petition was presented to Princess Pilolevu Tuita, asking for the King to answer the PSA demands.

Interim-PSA Chair, Finau Tutone, says he was not suprised by the turnout.

"Dissatisfaction was accumulated for so many years. The giant was still asleep in the past and we came to a point in time where the giant is now waking up."

Interim-PSA Chair, Finau Tutone.