31 Aug 2005

Commonwealth Secretary General meets striking workers in Tonga

8:13 pm on 31 August 2005

The Commonwealth Secretary General, Don McKinnon has met with striking civil servants in Tonga.

The PACNEWS agency reports that in his discussions with the interim committee of the Public Service Association Mr McKinnon said he was prepared to listen to their grievances but, any resolution must be made by the people and the government and not imposed from outside.

Mr McKinnon had travelled to Tonga to conduct preparation meetings for the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government summit.

The chair of the interim-committee, Finau Tutone says he was encouraged by the meeting.

"He said that the Commonwealth preferred to help out the less developed countries within the Commonwealth members and he also assured us for some assistance as the things are moving along. If there is a need for democratisation of the system, then the Commonwealth will help with the exercise."

Don McKinnon had earlier talked to Princess Regent Salote Pilolevu Tuita about the strike.