News brief: Tonga’s PM honored with Fellowship by accountant institute


By Kalafi Moala


Nuku’alofa, Tonga – Prime Minister Rev. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa was conferred on Thursday as a Fellow of the Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Australia, by the Australian High Commissioner, HE Mr. Adrian Morrison, on behalf of the Institute, in a ceremony in Nuku’alofa at the Fa’onelua Convention Centre.

The Prime Minister, who served as a former Auditor-General and has worked as an accountant and auditor accepted the award with gratitude, saying: “This achievement is a profound and most humbling moment for me.”

He said in his speech of acceptance: “I have used this intellectual ability to assist the decision makers, including the leaders to make well calculated decisions based on the accuracy, the reliability, credibility and with complete financial information that are provided and audited on a timely basis in order to help government ministries, the people and business community to make the right decisions.”

Established accountant and auditor Aloma Johansson gave a speech at the ceremony, as well as former Prime Minister of Tonga, Lord Sevele.

Police named victim in Ha’apai boat capsize

Pilima Langi, aged 63, from Faleloa, has been named as the victim that died on Thursday, January 28, after a small boat capsized in heavy seas off the island of Foa in Ha’apai. There were 17 others in the boat when it capsized in rough weather conditions.

The boat sailed from Ha’ano to Faleloa, but the tragedy happened close to Foa.

Two other passengers were admitted to hospital after nearly drowning. Other passengers were released after being taken to hospital.

It is reported that many of the passengers, who could not swim, held on to the capsized boat until they were helped. There were no life jackets onboard.

A local driver, Darren Rice and his 15-year-old son JJ, are reported to have swam out and helped push the capsized boat to shore.

Tonga Police are continuing the investigation of the incident.

Teen’s death in Kolovai ruled a suicide

A 19 year-old young man’s body found dead at a Kolovai house over the weekend, has been ruled a suicide.

Police issued a statement that an inquest held at Vaiola Hospital on Thursday confirmed the cause of death.

The deceased was from Houma village.

There have been 5 suicides recorded in Tonga in the past 12 months, from January 28, 2020 to January 29, 2021.

Most suicide victims range from 15 – 30 and male dominates the list of victims.

The youngest victim of suicide was 12 years old (2012), and the oldest was 72.

Lowest on record was in 2005 with 2 victims, and rose to 13 in 2009.


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