23 Nov 2006

Tonga's King says there will be ongoing dialogue on political reform

5:27 pm on 23 November 2006

The King George Tupou V of Tonga has closed parliament for the year, saying the country has lost much with the destructive rioting last Thursday.

He says Tongans have become prisoners in their own homes.

The king says the government will shortly announce progress on plans for the reconstruction.

He says Nuku'alofa will not be rebuilt in a day but it will be rebuilt.

Our correspondent Mateni Tapueluelu says the King made reference to the various proposals put forward on political reform, and he indicated these are not irreconciliable

"They have one thing in spirit and that is that to democratize Tonga and the government is considering that. One of the various positive things that the people's representatives are welcoming is that he made it clear that political dialogue should continue between the government and the people's representatives."