20 Mar 2012

Publisher says Tonga's new King won hearts of Tonga people after Ashika tragedy

2:55 pm on 20 March 2012

The publisher of the Taimi O Tonga, Kalafi Moala, says Tonga's new King, Tupouto'a Lavaka Ata, has already won the hearts of the Tongan people.

Mr Moala says the new King's critics will point to his involvement with a failed national airline project, but on a social level he will be remembered for playing a major role in comforting stricken families of Ashika ferry victims.

"I was in a particular memorial service where I saw him hugging some of the families and shedding tears and I thought, wow, that's something very unusual for a member of the royal family."

The Taimi O Tonga publisher, Kalafi Moala.

The new King is to be called Tupou VI.