15 Sep 2006

Fiji and American Samoa representatives to attend Tongan King's funeral

9:54 am on 15 September 2006

Fiji's vice president, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, will lead the country's official delegation to the funeral of the late King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV of Tonga next week.

Other members of the delegation will include the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase; Fiji's non resident high commissioner to Tonga, Ratu Finau Mara; and the chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs, Ratu Ovini Bokini.

American Samoa will be represented at the funeral by the territory's Governor, Togiola Tulafono.

Meanwhile It has been confirmed that Samoa's Head of State, Malietoa Tanumafili II will not be able to attend the funeral on the advice of his doctor.

Malietoa and the King were close friends.

Malietoa's granddaughter is the widow of the King's younger son.