27 Aug 2005

Samoa's PM closely watching developments in Tonga

7:36 am on 27 August 2005

Samoa's Prime Minister and Pacific Islands Forum chairman Tuilaepa Sailele says he's closely watching the civil servants strike in neighbouring Tonga.

Tuilaepa is quoted by the Samoa Observer as saying that the situation in Tonga at the moment can still be contained and resolved by its government.

But in the situation that violence escalates to another level, he say regional leaders can then decide, through the Biketawa declaration, on how best to assist the kingdom.

Tuilaepa said a possible model could be the recent crisis in Solomon Islands where the Forum asked the Solomon Islands government to pass legislation providing a mandate for external intervention.

The Forum has sent an official to Tonga to help its government tot up the cost of wage increases demanded by public servants.