12 Sep 2005

Tongan campaigner says democratic reform inevitable

8:11 pm on 12 September 2005

Tongan academic and democracy campaigner, Futa Helu says democratic reform is inevitable whether the government aids the process or not.

Last week, parliament was adjourned for at least a week without discussing democratic reforms despite hopes it would be on the agenda after a march involving thousands called for political change.

Mr Helu says pro-democracy MPs have unsuccessfully tried to bring in reform through calls to change the constitution.

However, he says if democracy cannot be brought in through legal means, history has shown there are more unfortunate methods by which it can be achieved.

"Most countries which have had change, have sometimes had it abruptly, only in the blade of the sword. We hope that this is not going to take place but as the English philosopher Butler said - What ever is going to happen, will happen."

Futa Helu, who says he was the first person who brought the philosophy of Democracy into the public realm in Tonga.