21 Aug 2009

Tongan royal calls for unity in face of ferry tragedy

3:36 pm on 21 August 2009

Tonga's Crown Prince, Tupouto'a Lavaka, has called on Tongans to put aside differences and work together as the country confronts what he calls its greatest crisis since the influenza epidemic in 1918.

Speaking at a memorial service for the 74 lives lost in the Princess Ashika ferry tragedy, Prince Tupouto'a says it is in such the events that nations are forged and defined.

He commended the spirit of co-operation shown by civilian and uniformed personnel since the vessel sank and admired the spirit of cooperation displayed.

Prince Tupouto'a told the congregation at St Paul's Church in the village of Pea that he is appealing to everyone to put aside their differences and work together.

He noted at the service the co-operation shown by members of the Government, elected Nobles and People's Representatives.