12 Oct 2005

Prince taking role in Tonga democracy movement seen of new coalition with nobles

4:25 pm on 12 October 2005

The appointment of Tonga's Prince Tu'ipelehake as the patron of the country's Human Rights and Democracy Movement has been called a watershed event.

Prince Tu'ipelehake has actively supported the movement and its aims but this is the first time he has taken on a role.

The movement's Lopeti Senituli says the organisation has long wanted to have closer links with the nobility.

"It is something that we have always worked towards in the sense that we have always wanted to build a coalition with the 33 hereditary nobles of the land, and this is bearing fruit now. And I think it is a major watershed event for the human rights struggle in Tonga."