9 Aug 2006

Tongan government urges calm for Forum summit

7:12 pm on 9 August 2006

Tonga's Prime Minister, Dr Feleti Sevele, says he does not see how threatening to disrupt the Forum meeting will enhance the process of political reform in Tonga.

Dr Sevele made the comment in a Television Tonga broadcast following last month's letter by MP, Akilisi Pohiva, to the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Greg Urwin.

In the letter, Mr Pohiva said there would be demonstrations during the meeting in Nukualofa in October.

Mr Pohiva says there has been too little progress with political reform.

But the prime minister says the government respects the constitutional right of all Tongans to make their opinions known about political reform in a peaceful manner.

Dr Sevele says he is appealing to all the people of Tonga to assist the government, and to make the Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting a success.