Tongan King laid to rest, FSM expresses condolences
Palikir, POHNPEI (FSM Information Service): September 22, 2006 - President Joseph J. Urusemal has expressed condolences to the people and government of the Kingdom of Tonga who laid to rest on Tuesday - September 19 2006, one of the world's longest serving monarchs, King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV.
King Taufau'ahau Tupou IV died in Auckland on September 10, after a long battle with ill health, he was 88.
The body of the late King returned to Tonga at the waterfront Palace and laid in State for six-days until the State Funeral on September 19. The body is interred at the Mala'ekula, the Royal Tombs in central Nuku'alofa.
A revered South Pacific Monarch, King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, reign over the Kingdom of Tonga for over 40 years.
He is succeeded by his eldest son, Crown Prince Tupou'toa who has assumed the title, King Siaosi Tupou V.
From the Federated States of Micronesia, President Urusemal conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the Tongan Prime Minister Dr. Feleti Sevele and to "the people and government of the Kingdom of Tonga and, most especially t the royal family for the untimely passing of His Majesty King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV.
His late Majesty King Taufa ahau Tupou IV was a pioneering personality who influenced and contributed to the dynamic and progressive transformation of our Pacific region. His late Majesty's role in transforming the Kingdom of Tonga form a village-based economy to a regional and international trade economy is much admired.
The President noted that the King's death was felt throughout the region, among islands nations which have come to respect and admire the King for his "genuine love and affection for his people."
The President concluded that "with this I join the people and government of the Federated States of Micronesia in convening that we do share this great loss and will remember you and your people during these hard times of national mourning."
Tonga would officially be in mourning until mid-October, while the royal family will observe a six-month mourning period.
The late King Taufau'ahau Tupou IV is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.
Along with the people of Tonga, the State Funeral will be attended by the dignitaries and representatives from throughout the Pacific region, Asia and the United Kingdom. The FSM will be represented by HE Ambassador Kodaro Gallen.
For further information on this release, please contact:
FSM Office of the President Public Information: Press, Radio, Video P.O Box 34 Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941 Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092 Fax.: (691) 320-4356 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.fsmpio.fm/