Thursday, July 24, 2008
THE ENIGMA THAT IS THE PACIFIC ISLAND KINGDOM OF TONGA...
Tonga's government which has reportedly been under some state of siege for the expensive and extremely extravagant coronation of its new King, George Tupou V has recently revealed how the Tongan royal family in 1952 obtained one of Auckland's most expensive pieces of real estate.
"Atalanga" is reportedly a most lavish home and grounds at 183 St Andrews Road in Epsom in Auckland City, and one of the most expensive in the Auckland region. Its value runs into several million but has never been tested as these properties seldom come on the market.
As the Tongan Government will spend $T5 million($NZ3 million) on the coronation of an aging reportedly gay bachelor, King George Tupou V, pro-democracy MP Akalasi Pohiva demanded the sale of "Atalanga" to pay the bills. This would have undoubtably fallen on deaf ears.
Tongans have long been assessed as one of the poorest societies in the Pacific, but the royal family continues to cream off most of the island kingdom's wealth.
There were recent overseas claims that suggested hundreds of millions of dollars were salted away in private bank accounts in Los Angeles and other American cities. The extravagance of the former kingdom's retinue shows no abatement with similar extravagance of the new, reportedly gay bachelor, King George Tupou V. Millions will be spent on his coronation.
If only a quarter of Tonga's wealth was retained for the betterment of the kingdom as a whole, there would be investments available for infastructure, fishing and other local projects.
Countries who provide aid to Tonga should censure the Tongan Government for its sheer irresponsible extravagance in financially supporting the Tongan royal family, which is increasingly coming under critcism. Perhaps another round of civil uprest is on the cards here?
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