22 Oct 2007

Tongan minister dispels claim that China loan is not transparent

2:35 pm on 22 October 2007

A Tongan cabinet minister says if the pro-democracy movement doesn't know what the 60 million US dollar loan from China is about, it should blame the People's Representatives.

Democracy advocates staged a protest through last week in Nuku'alofa in their call for democratic reforms to be put in place next year instead of 2010.

They say the government is not transparent in its actions and they have used the China loan as an example.

This money is a soft loan to help those who lost their businesses in the riots last year back into operation

The Transport Minister Paul Karalus says the loan details were presented in Parliament and the onus is on the People's Representatives to explain it.

"Now if they aren't able to tell the people what was exposed in the House then they have failed, they have failed to tell the people. Yet they claim to be the representatives of the people - they say 100 percent of the people - so to suggest and claim that there is not transparency is a complete falsehood."

Paul Karalus