21 Mar 2012

American President sends condolences after death of Tonga's King George Tupou V

9:52 am on 21 March 2012

The United States president, Barack Obama, says with the death of King George Tupou V, America has lost a friend and the people of Tonga have lost a visionary leader.

In a statement, President Obama says Tonga is one of the United States' closest partners among the Pacific Island states.

He says the US is grateful for Tonga's role in Afghanistan.

He extends his condolences to the Queen Mother Halaevalu Mata'aho, the Royal Family, and the people of Tonga on the passing of King George Tupou V.


The Cook Islands Prime Minister, Henry Puna has expressed his condolences at the passing of Tonga's King George Tupou V.

Mr Puna says since his Coronation in 2008, King Tupou had ushered in landmark constitutional changes to the Kingdom of Tonga - not least of which was his intention to cede most of his powers to a democratically elected parliament.

He says the Cook Islands has strong and enduring ties with the Kingdom of Tonga.


American Samoa's US Congressman, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, says the passing of Tonga's King George Tupou V is a sad day not just for Tonga but for all of Polynesia.

The congressman says he has known the late King for more than 30 years, and will remember him for his intellect, wit and love of his Polynesian ancestry.

"I just can not say enough, always extending the hand of friendship and hospitality and his kindness to our Samoan people. Everywhere he goes, he's highly respected, and certainly was one of the moving forces in transforming Tonga's government."

American Samoa's Congressman, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin.


Fiji's interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama has sent condolences to Tongan Prime Minister on the death of King George Tupou the Fifth.

The Commodore says Fiji, along with its Pacific neighbours will miss one of the region's great leaders.

The regime leader highlighted the links between Fiji and Tonga, including historical ties.


And the former Fiji military officer who sought sanctuary in Tonga last year, Ratu Tevita Mara, has extended condolences to Tonga on the death of King George Tupou the 5th.

Mr Mara is related to the Tongan Royal Family.

Through the Council for a Democratic Fiji, Mr Mara extends heartfelt sympathy to the people of Tonga as they mourn the King's death.

He says in the short span of his reign, King George took a number of initiatives which responded to the cries of his people for a democratic system of government.

Mr Mara says he showed how a small nation could successfully go through a transition.