14 Sep 2006

Leader of FLP pays tribute to Tonga's late King

6:41 am on 14 September 2006

The Fiji Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, has paid tribute to the late King Taufa'ahau Tupou the IV of Tonga, saying he had commanded respect in the region and the world for his personality and innovative ideas.

Mr Chaudhry has told parliament in Suva that the King had the distinction of being one of the world's longest reigning monarchs and had done much to improve the lives of his people.

He said in his later days the King met with some resistance and opposition from educated Tongans who wanted a greater say in the governance of the nation.

Mr Chaudhry said these winds of change are part of the evolutionary process and cannot be ignored, nor are they peculiar to Tonga alone as all nations have to contend with it.

Mr Chaudhry said the new King Tupou V inherits these challenges, but he comes to the throne with the reputation of a man who is open to reforms.