THE Speaker of the German Bundestag (Parliament) is leading a seven member parliamentary delegation tour of Tonga to attend a Choral Evening to mark the 140th anniversary of friendship between the two countries in Nuku’alofa on Sunday, October 9, 2016.
Germany and Tonga signed a Treaty of Friendship on board the SMS “Hertha” Warship from Germany at Nuku’alofa on November 1, 1876.
The former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Hon. Viliami Tungi signed the friendship treaty on behalf of late King George Tupou 1 with Captain Ernst Wilhelm the Captain and German’s Consul to Tonga and Samoa, Theodor Agust Weber on behalf of the German Emperor.
Tupou 1 wanted to safeguard Tonga from being colonized by foreign powers and instigated the Treaty of Friendship with Germany. In 1875 Tonga’s Constitution was not recognized however Berlin was the first to sign the treaty. This recognition of Tonga’s treaty led other foreign powers to withdraw interest from trying to colonize Tonga.
Professor Dr. Norbert Lammert and the visiting delegation arrives in Nuku’alofa tomorrow, October 8, 2016. The delegation will attend the Sunday church service at the Centenary Church for the blessing of the 140th Years of the Friendship Treaty.
Beginning at 7pm in the evening on Sunday will be a Choral Programme to be held at the Fa‘onelua Convention Centre to honour the 140th Anniversary. Guests of Honour at the occasion are their Highnesses, Crown Prince Tupouto‘a ‘Ulukalala and Crown Princess Sinaitakala Tuku‘aho.
During his friendly visit to Tonga, the German Speaker will also visit the Legislative Assembly on Monday, October 10th where the signing of the amended contract for donor of photovoltaic solar project for Prince Ngu Hospital in Vava’u will take place.
It will be followed by an address from the Speaker of the German Bundestag to the Legislative Assembly of Tonga. Subsequently, a luncheon will be hosted on Parliament grounds by the Lord Speaker, Lord Tu‘ivakano for the visitors.
Professor Dr. Norbert Lammert who is a Catholic, will also meet with Tonga Roman Catholic Cardinal, Soane Patita Paini Mafi next week.
The Berlin Speaker is also accompanied by another MP, Dr. Johann Wadephul who is also the Chairman of the Scrutiny of Elections Committee, Immunity and the Rules of Procedures and other parliamentary staff.
Accompanying the parliamentary delegation is German’s new Ambassador to Tonga, His Excellency Gerhard Thiedemann.
The German politician became a Vice President which is equivalent to Deputy Speaker in 2002. He has served as Speaker of the German Parliament since October 2005, and re-elected in 2009 and 2013.
The German parliamentary delegation leaves Tonga on the afternoon of Monday 10th October.