PM Pōhiva criticises media for not covering ‘Atalanga, passport and Tongasat scandals

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Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pōhiva says he he did not see any of the Tongan local media reporting on the scandals which involved royals and nobility. File photo.

Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva said local media were tight-lipped on Tongan passports, Tongasat and ‘Atalanga royal residence scandals.

They did not cover allegation regarding a US$25 million dollar which the former government had transferred to Princess Pilolevu’s Tongasat company, Hon. Pōhiva told a press conference in Nuku’alofa last week.

He said the issue was very important and he was thankful that a recent court decision had indicated Tongasat may have to pay the government a TP$18 million tax bill.

He said the matter had been referred to a tribunal.

Hon. Pōhiva said a royal assent was given to the former government to investigate the  Tongan passport scandals.

As Kaniva News reported the former government did not set up the commission according to the royal assent.

The Prime Minister said he had investigated the passport scandals since the 1980s, before he became a Parliament representative.

He said he did not see any of the Tongan media reporting on the story.

He said he had a copy of a royal command by late King George V for the eight hectare ‘Atalanga residence in Auckland to be controlled by one of the Ramanlal brothers, who were close to the king.

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The Prime Minister said it was followed by a decision to sell the estate, but a caveat was put forward by Tongan lawyers in New Zealand and the sale was eventually withheld.

“My point is these are some of the most important issues for the nation as they involved very huge amount of money, but I never see any of our Tongan media reporting on them”, Hon. Pohiva said in Tongan.

Mr. Pesi Fonua, editor of Matangi Tonga online interrupted and told the Prime Minister he wanted to correct him.

He said they covered those issues starting with Tongasat and passports.

“Stop making such statements as they are wrong”, Fonua told the Prime Minister in Tongan.

He begged Hon. Pohiva to read their news so he could know what he was talking about.

Hon. Pohiva apologised and asked Fonua to forgive him, but Fonua continued on and reiterated that the Prime Minister has spoken wrongly.

“We feel we are being let down by what you were saying,” Mr. Fonua said.

Mr. Fonua did not say how did they cover those stories.

Hon. Pōhiva previously accused the royalist local media for not covering such scandals because they involved some members of the royal family and nobility.

1 COMMENT

  1. Na’e me’a ‘Eiki Palēmia ‘o Tongá ‘o pehē ne ngūngūtapulea e ngaahi mītia fakalotofonuá ia he ngaahi ongoongo fakatupu mā mo felauaki pea angaanga ta’efakalo hono natula hangē ko fakatotolo ki he paasipooti Tongá, ‘api ko ‘Atalangá mo e Tongasat.

    Pehē ‘e ‘Akilisi Pōhiva na’e ‘ikai līpooti ‘e he mītia Tonga e lau tokua ki he pa’anga ‘Amelika ‘e $25 miliona ne ‘ave ia ‘e he pule’anga ki mu’á ki he kautaha satelaite ‘a Pilinisesi Pilolevu ko e Tongasat.

    Na’á ne pehē ko e kaveinga mahu’inga ia. Na’á ne pehē kuo ne fakamālō he ngali na’a iku totongi ‘e he Tongasat ‘a e pa’anga ‘e $18 miliona ko e tukuhau ia kuo loa mai hono ‘eke ‘e he potung āue tukuhau ke totongi.

    Na’á ne pehē ko e keisi ko ia ‘e toe ‘ave pe ki he tulaipiunolo.

    Ne me’a ‘a ‘Onapolo Pōhiva ‘o pehē na’e ‘i ai e tu’utu’uni fakatu’i ki he pule’anga ki mu’á ke fakatotolo’i ‘a e paasipooti. Hangē ko ia ne līpooti ‘e he Kanivá na’e ‘ikai ke nau fai ia ‘e kinautolu.

    Pehē ‘e he palēmiá na’á ne fakatotolo’i ‘e ia ‘a e paasipōtí talu mei he valungofulu tupú te’eki hū ia ki he Fale Aleá. Pehē ‘e he ‘Eiki Palēmiá ne te’eki sio ia ‘i he mītia Tongá ‘oku nau līpooti e me’á ni.

    Na’á ne pehē na’a ne ma’u ha tatau ‘o e tu’utu’uni fakatu’i ‘a e tu’i ko ia kuo toki ungafonuá Siaosi V ke pule’i ‘e he ongo Manilalá ‘a e ‘api ‘o Tonga ko ‘Atalanga ‘i Nu’u Silá.

    Na’e iku fakahū atu ‘e he kau loea Tonga ‘i Nu’u Silá ha kaviati pe tohi ke ta’ofi ‘a hono fakataú he ‘oku fai ‘a hono fakafekiki’i pea iku tu’u ai e teu fakatau ko ‘eni.

    Ko ‘eku poiní ko e ngaahi ‘īsiu mahu’inga ‘eni ki he fonuá he na’e kaunga ki ai e ngaahi fu’u pa’anga lahi fau, ka ne ‘ikai ke u teitei sio he ngaahi mitia Tonga ‘oku nau līpooti, ko e palēmiá ia.

    Ka ne hū atu heni e ‘ētita ‘o e Matangi Tongá Pesi Fonua ‘o ne pehē ne nau ‘osi līpooti pe ‘a e ngaahi kaveinga ko ‘eni kamata pe mei he Tongasat mo e paasipōtí.

    Na’e ‘ikai fakamahino ‘e Fonua pe ko e fē fua he ngaahi kaveinga ko ‘ení ne nau kavá pea ne founga fēfē ‘enau līpōtí.

    Ko e ngaahi kaveinga foki ‘eni ne ‘osi fakaanga’i ‘e Pōhiva ai e ngaahi mītia ko ‘eni ‘okú ne taku ‘oku nau lango ki he hou’eikí mo e fale ‘o e tu’i ‘o pehē ne ‘ikai ke nau pulusi ha me’a ai koe’uhi ko ‘ene kaunga ki ai ‘a e fale ‘o tu’i mo e hou’eikí.