THE Legislative Assembly of Tonga is adjourned until tomorrow.
Deputy Clerk, Dr. Sione Vikilani confirms this to Parliament news.
Today the Chair and another member of the Select Committee that responded to his Majesty’s address from the throne, Dr. Sitiveni Halapua and Lord Tu’ilakepa delivered the reply letter to King Tupou VI at Liukava royal residence, Kolovai this morning.
This is the House’s reply to his Majesty’s opening speech of Parliament.
In his opening address to officially open the Legislative Assembly of Tonga last Thursday, His Majesty says we are now in the final session of deliberation under the new political reform.
Therefore he urged MPs to maintain the good working relationship with different important sectors for a peaceful, stable and for Tonga’s prosperity.
The king also noted that despite the limited resources Tonga has there is need to further develop our economy and to boost social and economic activities.
He also dwelled on the need to further improve the transportation sector, renewable energy, education and the rebuilding effort especially in the aftermath of natural disasters.
His Majesty said Tonga like any other countries is vulnerable to the impacts of global economic crisis therefore it is important to further develop our economy to withstand those global crises.
At the same time, he said Government’s Strategic Plan should be in line with its national development plan to boost economic activities. This he mentioned can be achieved through a close collaboration with the private sector to improve people’s living condition.
On peacekeeping mission matter, his Majesty thanked the military personnel for their great performance while serving in the Afghanistan, Iraq and in the Solomon Islands. He said the country had recently noted the significant contribution Tonga has made to regional and international peace keeping missions. He also mentioned that good news after all these overseas deployment, no casualties was reported.
His Majesty also raised the issues of transportation and the need to further boost the domestic air services.
“…this sector needs further improvement to provide job opportunities for the locals which contributes to our economy. There’s also need to also ensure safety in the domestic air services,” said his Majesty.
The king also noted the Government’s continued effort to secure study opportunities overseas and especially the search for way forward in utilizing technology and communication through internet usage.
King Tupou VI also acknowledged the continual support and commitment from donor partners including Australia, Japan, and People’s Republic of China, New Zealand and the European Union (EU) for Tonga in the past. He also acknowledged the grant aid from the World Bank and also the Asian Development Bank (ADB)
His Majesty also announced that his Coronation will take place in July 2015. This he is hopeful for a happy and joyous occasion for the kingdom.
He ended his speech by thanking parliamentarians for the success and their contribution to the for the good of Tonga in the last three years.
He concluded by wishing MPs the best in their upcoming deliberation.
In the reply letter, MPs stated that they are privileged to serve in the last parliamentary term 2010-2014 under the new democratic system.
“We are hopeful that our performance in the last three years was up to the expectation and trust of the Royal Family, church leaders and the people of Tonga.”
The letter also revealed the MPs commitment to perform their utmost and to work closely with different sectors to further build our economy.
“The next agenda of the House is to deliberate on the Government’s National Budget for 2014/15 and we specifically noted the need to improve the social and living conditions of the people in accordance with objectives of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals.”
The House also noted the Government’s Strategic Plan to combine similar line ministries to cater for the transport services, renewable energy and natural disaster management programme.
On education, the House also notes the high levels of education in Tonga and the special attention need to boost education in the Ha’apai Islands. In that regard, the House pledges to perform its best and to boost that important sector.
With regards to the impact of global financial crises, the House also maintains that Government is prudently doing its best to overcome those obstacles in a professional and economical manner.
The reply letter also acknowledges the continued financial support of countries like Australia, Japan, People’s Republic of China, New Zealand and donor partners including the European Union (EU), World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The House also acknowledges the blessings and financial benefits that Tonga enjoys in sending troops to overseas peacekeeping mission since 1984. .
His Majesty was also reassured by the House that there were no doubt the people of Afghanistan, Iraq and the Solomon Islands valued his Government and Parliament’s contribution to maintaining world peace.
Government and the Tongan Parliament also pledge their support to ensure safety in providing air services and to boost tourism in Tonga.
The House also noted the continued joint effort of the Tongan Government, Australia and New Zealand in providing funded scholarship for study opportunities in diploma level up to post graduate research study programme as well as IT and communication programme.
And with the Coronation schedule for July next year, the House also conveyed their full support to his Majesty’s upcoming event and hopeful for a blessed, fun and joyous occasion.
His Majesty was also reaffirmed by the MP’s of their commitment to fulfill his wish to collaborate with key stakeholders for the common good of Tonga.