27 Oct 2009

Tongan news editor says inquiry into ferry disaster sinking will be beneficial

7:53 am on 27 October 2009

A Tongan news editor says the public hearings being held by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the sinking of the Princess Ashika will help give people confidence the truth will be found.

The inquiry opens today into the ferry disaster which claimed more than 70 lives in August.

The government has been criticised for its role in the tragedy, with claims made that the vessel was unseaworthy.

Pesi Fonua, the editor of Matangi Tonga, says such an inquiry is new for his country, and the series of public hearings which will be held over the next three months, will be beneficial.

"I think it will clear up a few things, but of course surrounding the sinking of the Ashika, there's a whole of suspicions, uncertainties about it. But the opening up to the public it will help, maybe we'll get to the bottom of things."

Pesi Fonua says the government does appear to be cooperating with the inquiry.