4 May 2007

Tonga's reconciliation adviser plans events to mark November riots

3:21 pm on 4 May 2007

Tonga's government is planning two weeks of reconciliation activities before marking the first anniversary of last November's riots in Nuku'alofa.

Preliminary hearings for the most serious cases stemming from the riots began this week, including for murder and sedition charges; prosecutions of other related offences continue.

30 convictions have already been made in the Magistrate Court, with two acquittals.

Meanwhile, the government's new adviser on Reconciliation and Civic Education, Viliami Afeaki, says he has been talking to a number of people affected by the riots.

Nearly a month into the newly-created role, Mr Afeaki has launched a radio and tv campaign promoting reconciliation.

"I'm trying to have a national reconciliation celebration for two weeks starting November 4th through to the 16th. So I'm going to be doing a lot of district workshops which would lead up to regional and then finally a national conference on reconciliation."

Viliami Afeaki