3 Nov 2010

Clinton gaffe on Tonga's National Day

1:20 pm on 3 November 2010

The American secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, has congratulated Tonga on it celebrating 40 years of independence although Tonga never was a colony.

Mrs Clinton delivered the message in a media release to mark Tonga's National Day, which is November the 4th.

National Day, or Constitution Day, will be marked next Monday after the King had decreed that no holidays would be held mid-week.

Mrs Clinton goes on in her release to says the US is committed to deepening its partnership with Tonga, both bilaterally and through regional institutions such as the Pacific Islands Forum and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

The Pacific country celebrating 40 years of independence this year is Fiji.