9 May 2012

Tonga withdrawing from Festival of Pacific Arts

4:39 pm on 9 May 2012

Tonga has withdrawn from this year's Festival of Pacific Arts in Solomon Islands.

Radio Tonga says it is out of respect for the late king that a Tongan delegation will be absent from the July event for the first time in its 40-year history.

It says the decision will give the Ministry of Education more time to fundraise for the next arts festival in Guam in 2016.

The official mourning period for King George Tupou V ended two weeks after his death in the middle of March.