18 Jun 2004

Tongans voice opposition to military deployment to Iraq

2:18 pm on 18 June 2004

Seven of the nine people's representatives in Tonga have voiced their opposition in Parliament to a contingent of military being sent to Iraq.

This week, 44 troops were sent to Iraq to join the US-led forces.

The Prime Minister said Tonga was obliged to make a commitment when the US asked for assistance.

However pro-democracy MP, Akilisi Pohiva, says it is hypocritical of the government to send the troops given its recent attitude towards other countries.

"Tonga doesn't want any foreign country or foreign power to interfere in our local, you know, domestic affairs. So the question is why should Tonga interfere in the Iraqi affairs."

Mr Pohiva also says there has been no financial insurance provided for partners of the soldiers.