7 Aug 2006

People's representative in Tonga urges Japan not to help purchase new ferry

10:17 am on 7 August 2006

It has been revealed in Tonga that the MP who wrote to the Japanese government, urging it not to cooperate with a request for a new inter island ferry, was the Ha'apai Number One people's representative, 'Uliti Uata.

The Japanese ambassador in Suva informed the Nuku'alofa government that

Uliti wrote to them arguing that an agreement to finance a new ship for Tonga would

derail the private sector's development.

In the letter, which was leaked to Radio Tonga, the MP said such an agreement involving a giant government such as Japan and together with the Tonga government-owned shipping line, would crush their small business.

Last week, Parliament unanimously voted for the government to continue

negotiating for a new ferry to replace the aging Olovaha