12 Apr 2010

Tonga Minister says less media confusion best justice for Ashika victims

5:31 am on 12 April 2010

Tonga's government says the best justice for those who lost relatives in the sinking of the ferry Princess Ashika is to stop confusing them with media discussion.

*The comment, from the Minister for Information and Communication, follows an official government response to a report by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into last August's sinking, in which 74 people drowned.

Eseta Fusitu'a says the government fully endorses the report's recommendations and wants them addressed as soon as possible.

There've been calls for the Minister to apologise over her handling of the report's release to the families of those who died but Mrs Fusitu'a says the government has had their needs as its priority.

"I think the best justice we can give to the victims is to not go on and confuse them with our kind of discussions. Because the next steps for them are pretty straightforward. If they have claims, they know what to do about them. When they want the reports, they know where to come for them. If the focus returns to them and their basic needs, that will be the most helpful approach to take now."

Tonga's Minister for Information and Communication, Eseta Fusitu'a.