13 Jun 2011

Tonga government stands firm on claim to Minerva Reefs

2:41 pm on 13 June 2011

The Tongan government has issued a photo of its re-erected navigational beacon on one of the Minerva Reefs as part of efforts to assert its claim over the disputed area.

It says work is in progress to reconstruct a second beacon on the other reef in the chain which is the subject of an ongoing dispute between Tonga and Fiji.

Tonga says the beacons were destroyed by the Fiji military.

Tonga's Chief Secretary, Busby Kautoke, says the government's immediate concern is about the safety of international shipping.

Mr Kautoke says there's ample provision under international law for the settlement of disputes between civilised societies.