25 Sep 2009

Tonga PM's advisor criticises timing of ferry letter

5:48 pm on 25 September 2009

The political advisor to the Tonga Prime Minister is questioning why a letter detailing the unseaworthiness of the boat involved in last month's sinking was not written before the tragedy.

This follows the launch of a petition calling for the resignation of Dr Feleti Sevele and his deputy over the Princess Ashika's sinking in which 74 people died.

A member group of the organisation behind the petition, the People's Committee for Political Reform, claims to have a copy of a letter informing the Prime Minister of the boat's unfit condition.

But Lopeti Senituli says of note is the timing of the letter.

"You see that letter and all other letters that are circulating have only emerged after or were written after the sinking of the ferry. Why didn't these people write these letters before the sinking of the ferry to draw the attention of the Prime Minister and the legislative assembly to the weaknesses that they saw"

Lopeti Senituli of the Tonga Prime Minister's office.