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The situation in Tonga

10/12/2006: New Zealand

This a letter from Soane Vahe to Anne Dooley (Melbourne’s Marist Lay people Coordinator). He is a Lay Marist Principal at Takuilau College in Tonga. Soane and his wife Feloa attended the recent Sharing Champagnat’s Vision seminar in Fiji and were very passionate about the Marist spirit and charism. In his letter below, Soane describes the situation in Tonga… Our prayers for Tonga’s people in this sad moment.

Greetings from the Pacific Beirut!!!
Good Morning, Anne. Thanks very much for the prayers and the thoughts. My family really appreciate them.
Things here are back to normal except the capital. The centre is still closed. It was this part that was devastated by fire and looters. It shows the economic situation of the country - I mean by the amount of looting that went on last week. The deaths in the fires were looters who were drunk at the time and could not get out on time. But this was a very sad occasion for the population because for the first they came to realise the amount of power they have and they have to learn how to use that power. It will be a long time yet for this to take place but there is need for education of the people to understand what power is for. This is why your prayers are much needed at this time.
What happened last week was the result of shortfalls on both sides. The government did not want to change to democracy, and the people were adamant that this change should take place. In fact they were quite restless for it to happen. At the same time the criminals took it as their opportunity to take what they wanted. The Chinese businesses suffered because they became the scapegoat for the downfall of the countrys economy.
The situation should not have happened if the leaders had vision about where the country was heading. If they were only prayerful people they would have been able to HEAR the will of God and things might have gone on a different and fruitful and loving path.

All schools on the main island are still closed since last Friday, but we at Takuilau College are still going on for we are 25 km from town, and we are affected by the goings on over there. We will begin holidays on the 28th of Nov. and students and staff are looking forward to it.

Thanks for Caring, Anne, and please ask the Brothers to continue to pray for us here in Tonga for we need all the prayers now.

Yours in the Service of Christ through Mary and Marcellin.
Soane

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