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Government accused of lack of transparency in deal with Digicel

The Government of Tonga has come under sharp criticism for apparent lack of transparency and accountability in its proposed sale of shares from Tonga Cable Limited to telecommunications company, Digicel. Tonga Cable Ltd. is one of the most profitable public enterprises. It is wholly owned by the Government, and has 20% ownership by Tonga Communications Corporation (TCC), probably the most profitable of all the Government enterprises. Lord Nuku, Noble Representative from ‘Eua, raised in Parliament why Government conducted negotiations to sell shares of a Government owned enterprise without bringing it first to Parliament. It was revealed that Government through their Ministry of Public Enterprise has been negotiating to sell 20% shares of Tonga Cable Limited to Digicel. When asked why Government was keeping this “a secret”, the Prime Minister Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva said they wanted to complete the negotiations “before they bring it to Parliament.” He did not see there was anything irregular about what the Government had done. Obviously, a bigger question was raised as Parliament went into a vigorous debate on the issue: “Who was Government really accountable to?”   Opposition members were arguing that something as significant as the selling of national assets such as “shares in a public enterprise” should at least be made known to Parliament from the very beginning. Lord Nuku argued that if this so-called democratic Government was ultimately accountable to the...

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Agricultural exports drop by 81.5%

The volume of agricultural exports declined sharply in the December quarter by 81.5%. It is reported the exports decreased from 3000 tones to only 500 tones in December 2015. Export receipts fell by 38%, which stood at just over US$500,000 for December. The Reserve Bank said the decline was due to the closing of the squash export season. But other agricultural exports also dropped such as cassava, taro leaves, watermelon, and breadfruit. The dry weather conditions in the December quarter is blamed for the drop in agricultural production, as compared to the September quarter....

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Holo’aki 81.5% uta ngoue

Kuo holo’aki ‘a e peseti ‘e 81.5% ‘a e uta ngoue ki muli ‘i he mahina ko Tisema 2015.   Ko ha lipooti ‘eni kuo ma’u mei he Potungaue Ngoue, ‘a ia ko e holo mei he toni ‘e 3000 ki he toni pe ‘e 500 ‘i Tisema.   Ko e pa’anga ne ma’u mei he uta ngoue na’e holo’aki ia ‘a e peseti ‘e 38% ‘i Tisema ‘o laka si’i pe he pa’anga ‘Amelika ‘e US$500,000.   Ko e fakamatala mei he Pangike Pule ko e ‘uhinga ko e ‘osi ko ia ‘o e fa’ahita’u uta hina.   Ka, na’e holo foki mo e uta ‘o e ngaahi ngoue kehe hange ko e manioke, lu, meleni, mo e mei.   ‘Oku ‘i ai foki ‘a e tui ko e la’ala’a lahi ‘o e kuata Tisema na’e uesia ai ‘a e ngoue ‘i hono fakafehoanaki mo e kuata Sepitema....

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Ngaahi fakakaukau kuopau ke liliiu

‘OKU ‘i ai ‘a e ngaahi fakakaukau kuo kamata ke nofo maka he ‘atamai ‘o ha kakai ‘e ni’ihi ‘i he Sosaieti Tonga, pea kuopau ke liliu kae lava ke fai ha laka kimu’a.   Ko e fakakaukau ko ia ko e hā pe me’a ‘oku loto ki ai ‘a e tokolahí, ko e me’a ia ‘oku tonu. ‘Oku hala ‘aupito ‘a e fakakaukau ko ‘eni, he ko e fiha ‘eni ‘a e ngaahi fakatātā mei he hisitolia ‘oku fakamo’oni mai ai ‘oku ‘ikai ke tonu ma’upe ‘a e fili ‘a e tokolahi. Ko e mo’oni foki ia, ‘oku tau faka’amu ko e me’a koee ‘oku totonu, ‘e loto ki ai ‘a e tokolahi. Ka, ‘oku ‘ikai ke fa’a hoko ‘eni ia. ‘E lava pe ke fili ‘a e tokolahi ki ha me’a ‘oku ta’efakalao, pe ko ha me’a ‘oku ‘ikai ke fakamolale, pe ‘ikai ke faka’otua. ‘Oku ‘ikai ko e fili ‘a e tokolahi ‘oku ne fai hono fakatonuhia’i ha me’a ke totonu. ‘Oku ala fili ‘a e tokolahi ia ki he me’a ‘oku hala. Na’e ‘ave ‘a Sisu ‘o fakamaau’i ‘i he Fakamaau’anga Loma, ka ko e kakai na’a nau fai hono fakamaau’i, pea ko e tokolahi na’a nau fili kinautolu ke kalusefai ia kae fakahaofi ‘a e tokotaha ko Palapasa, ko e kaiha’a. Lolotonga ‘a e ‘i he mo’unga ‘a Mosese ‘o fai ‘ene fetu’utaki mo...

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