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Author Topic: Problems in Tonga
Webgear
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9443

posted 14 November 2005 11:01 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The country of Tonga is made up of 170 islands spread over an area of the South Pacific roughly the size of Japan.

BBC Country profile: Tonga

Some 3,000 government employees have been on strike since July, demanding pay increases.

Tongan unrest ripples out to New Zealand

Civil servants and government employees started the industrial action, demanding pay increases of up to 80%.

Strikes grip cash-strapped Tonga

The one plane in Tonga's state airline has been repossessed, as a financial crisis grips the South Pacific kingdom.

Tonga, whose 100,000 people are spread across 170 islands, has a notoriously fragile economy.

Its finances were damaged in 2002, when a state fund - managed by the court jester - lost millions in unwise overseas investments.

Cash crunch grounds Tonga airline


Should Canada step in and help find a solution to their problems? Should Canada invest a few million dollars into this tiny nation perhaps make this island a recommend vacation spot for Canada visitors?

We could stop the violence with some small aid donations and increased trade with this small nation before this nation collapsing in chaos.

I believe this could be a commendable goal for the people of Canada by helping the people of this poor island nation.

I started this thread becuase of
rest of the world

I hope we can go somewhere decent with it.

[ 14 November 2005: Message edited by: Webgear ]


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
MartinArendt
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posted 14 November 2005 11:42 PM      Profile for MartinArendt     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Has New Zealand addressed this at all? Is there a response from their government?
From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
rabble-rouser
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posted 14 November 2005 11:55 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tonga under pressure to go for democracy

Royal-ruled Tonga is coming under pressure from New Zealand to head toward democracy after a crippling public service strike in the kingdom this year.


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
rabble-rouser
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posted 15 November 2005 12:30 AM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
US Department od State Proflie: Tonga

"Tonga's development plans emphasize a growing private sector, upgrading agricultural productivity, revitalizing the squash and vanilla bean industries, developing tourism, and improving the island's communications and transportation systems. Substantial progress has been made, but much work remains to be done."

"The tourist industry is relatively undeveloped; however, the government recognizes that tourism can play a major role in economic development, and efforts are being made to increase this source of revenue."

These are many areas we could help the people of Tango, should we start sending lumber and beef products to this nation?


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Doug
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posted 15 November 2005 01:03 AM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It would seem to be a bad idea, at least until they separate out the jobs of court jester and finance minister.
From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 15 November 2005 05:32 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Fears Tonga's king victim of conmen

Once again it appears the king has been fooled.

[ 15 November 2005: Message edited by: Webgear ]


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 15 November 2005 05:35 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
DEAR KING OF TONGA,

I AM A RESPECTED NIGERIAN BUSINESSMAN WHO WAS GIVEN YOUR NAME BY A MUTUAL COLLEAGUE...


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
chester the prairie shark
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posted 15 November 2005 05:43 PM      Profile for chester the prairie shark     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
take the business approach and sweep in and buy it out of bankruptcy for a nickel on the dollar.
From: Saskatoon | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 15 November 2005 05:50 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wasn't the court jester a Canadian conman? I remember an article about it somewhere a couple of years ago.

Leaving aside the hazards of placing all of a country's decision making eggs in a single basket that only reached his position by birth (the king), what about Tonga makes it more appealing to help than the many other countries of the world?

Aside from the fact that I'd love a CIDA position to come up, and me to get it, that is.


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 15 November 2005 05:57 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No kidding! With that gullible king, you could be riding around in a bamboo sedan chair in no time.
From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 15 November 2005 06:03 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think Tonga will only need some financial help and political direction, it has not military conflicts or deep rooted social problems, the countrys only real problem is that of a failing economy and poor leadership.

With a few years support and help we could help these people, with little burden to our country and our foreign policy goals.

This would be a good project for CIDA.


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 15 November 2005 07:59 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Asian Development Bank's (ADB) program for Tonga in 2005-2006 will focus on improving urban social infrastructure, according to a Country Strategy and Program (CSP) Update endorsed by ADB's Board of Directors.

ADB Program For Tonga In 2005-2006 Targets Urban Social Infrastructure

I think Canada should get involved with this project, lets donate around 50 million dollars and improve this country.


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boarsbreath
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posted 16 November 2005 09:38 PM      Profile for Boarsbreath   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just two points. Tonga is indeed susceptible to foreign conmen, which seems like the consequence of being an actual kingdom (with Bhutan & maybe Saudi Arabia, the only extant) -- except that so are the other island Pacific countries, democracies all. Easily conned & pretty corrupt too -- like the others.

And: possibly most Tongans, certainly most with degrees, live in New Zealand. Like all Polynesian countries, the people are physically split between Polynesia and Aussie/NZ/America. Physically and of course culturally: there is a thriving democracy movement of Tongans in New Zealand, with considerable spillover in Tonga itself (including Parliament, where commoners -- yes, you read right, commoners, Tongans are either commoner or noble -- have a minority of seats).

So there are plenty of people involved who are like you and me...it's exotic in how unexotic the people are, despite their absurd national situation.

Now, MELAnesia (Vanuatu, Solomons, Papua New Guinea), there is where the exotic resides! The political forms are familiar (ex-British colonial), but the people are much more insular than the Polynesians. Which is a strength...but that's drifting.


From: South Seas, ex Montreal | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 16 November 2005 09:59 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Just two points. Tonga is indeed susceptible to foreign conmen, which seems like the consequence of being an actual kingdom (with Bhutan & maybe Saudi Arabia, the only extant)

What about Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE?

quote:
but the people are much more insular than the Polynesians. Which is a strength...

Innsular Is a term which brings to mind negative characteristics, such as the ethnocentrism. Are you sure it was the word you wished to use?


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Boarsbreath
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posted 17 November 2005 07:44 PM      Profile for Boarsbreath   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah -- that's why I added that it's a strength too. Melanesians rarely emigrate...they're not invited to by easy admission rules, unlike the Polynesian countries, but even the doctors & academics seem to stay home more than people in other poor countries.

But Melanesia's a strange area (strange & wonderful). Poor yes, but losts of land, and almost everyone -- until the 90s literally everyone -- has access to it. So the poverty doesn't include desperation, and family-village ties are very much alive (rural areas are not much influenced by the government).

Port Moresby, PNG's capital, is becoming an exception to this, mind you; and Fiji, sometimes reckoned 'Melanesian', is developing some absolute poverty. (The '-esian' terms, as you'd expect, are simplifications, like dividing Western Europe into Mediterranean/Atlantic/North Sea countries.)

So -- insular, in the sense of inward-looking, yes.


From: South Seas, ex Montreal | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
MartinArendt
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posted 17 November 2005 08:02 PM      Profile for MartinArendt     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the links, folks. I've got some reading to do...
From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 18 November 2005 03:13 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Everything you need to know about Tonga:

A Philological Waltz

Oh, it's hard to say "oli makiti looka chi chi chi,"
But in Tonga, that means "No."
If I ever have the money, it's to Tonga I shall go.
For each lovely Tongan maiden there will gladly make a date
For by the time she's said "oli makiti looka chi chi chi,"
It is usually too late!


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged

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