Deputy PM out of touch with cyclone victims – Bloomfield

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Written on May 2, 2014. Revisited on November 8, 2017

Ki he kau laukonga faka-Tonga, kiliki heni ke ke lau ai e kemipeini fili Fale Alea ‘a Kulufeinga ‘Anisi Bloomfield

Tongan Deputy Prime Minister Hon Samiu Vaipulu’s statement that  out of date rice distributed to Ha’apai cyclone victims was good for eating showed he was out of touch with reality, it was claimed this week.

Former Head of Secretariat of the Oceania Customs Organisation, Kulu ‘Anisi Bloomfield , blasted the Deputy Prime Minister’s comments and said his comment implied the “people are stupid.”

“It is an international trade requirements that the contents and the expiry date of the product must clearly written on the packing or otherwise it cannot be written on every rice seed,” Bloomfield said.

Bloomfield is an independent candidate for Vava’u 15 in the November election. He will stand against Vaipulu.

He claimed the Deputy Prime Minister did not care what had happened to the cyclone victims of Ha’apai.

His comments came after food relief on Ha’apai was found to contain packets of rice on which a new ‘best before’ date had been pasted over the original date.

According to the packaging, the rice was exported from Vietnam to the Helen Investment Trading Co. Ltd.  A sticker on the packets says ‘Best Before 02-19-2015.’

Complainants were suspicious about why a sticker was on the packet and when they scratched it they could see another date they believed was the real ‘best before’ date, which said the rice should be consumed by April 15, 2014.

While the cyclone victims were furious,  Vaipulu said this week nothing was wrong.

He told Radio Tonga he had met with the Chinese supplier who provided the rice and said that while the packaging had been re-printed, the rice was all right.

He said there was a letter from Vaiola Health Department and another from the rice packing company, but he did not identify the company or say what was in the letters.

Vaipulu said there were no insects in the rice and the stock was in good condition.

He also said that “experts in rice” said the dates put on the packaging means the quality of the rice would have deteriorated, but not expired.

Neither Vaipulu nor the Radio Tonga named the “experts in rice.” The Deputy Prime Minister said that when rice reached the best-before date the quality deteriorated by 10 percent but still in good condition.

This is the second time there have been complains about food aid given to the cyclone victims.

In March the government distributed its first food assistant for the cyclone victims but the Ha’apai people complained  that they were given rancid tinned fish and rotten plantains.

Bloomfield has called on government to stop dumping rubbish on Ha’apai.

Bloomfield claimed there was a pattern of negligence in the way the government handled food assistance for Ha’apai.

Millions of dollars donated by other countries was involved.

“There is need to investigate and to find out the procurement processes NEMO used to purchase this product and to find out the purchasing price,” Bloomfield said.

A source in the NEMO office at Vaololoa told Kaniva News the office looked for the cheapest price and for suppliers who could make bulk deliveries of whatever goods they wanted to send to the Ha’apai Cyclone Victims.

Bloomfield said the Food Safety Authority should investigate the issue.

He said it was appalling that the government only became involved when the people of Ha’apai complained.

“Our own people are desperate for food, as that is one of their basic needs, but that does not mean their desperation was something for the government to abuse and feed them with rubbish,” he said.

The main points

  • Tongan Deputy Prime Minister Hon Samiu Vaipulu’s statement that  out of date rice distributed to Ha’apai cyclone victims was good for eating showed he was out of touch with reality, it was claimed this week.
  • Kulu ‘Anisi Bloomfield said the government must stop dumping rubbish on Ha’apai.
  • His comments come after food relief on Ha’apai was found to contain packets of rice on which a new ‘best before’ date had been pasted over the original date.
  • Vaipulu told Radio Tonga the new ‘best-before’ date meant the quality of the rice had deteriorated, but not expired.

Ongoongo Faka-Tonga

Ko e lau ko ia ‘a e Tokoni Palemia ‘a Tonga, Samiu Vaipulu ‘o pehe ‘oku sai pe laise kuo ‘osi hono ‘aho faka’aonga’i ‘a ia na’e tufa ki he kau faingata’a’ia ‘o e saikolone ‘i Haapai ‘oku ne tala mai ‘a e hala’ata ha’ane ongo’i ‘e taha ‘a e mo’oni ‘o e me’a kuo hoko, ko ha lau ia kuo fai kiate ia ‘i he ‘uike ni.

Ko e  komeni na’e fai ‘e he Tokoni Palemia ‘oku fakahu’uhu’unga  mai ai ‘oku vale ‘a e kakai pea kuo fakaanga’i ia ‘e he pule ki mu’a ‘i he Va’a Ngaue Fakasekelitali a e Kautaha Kasitomu ‘a ‘Oseania i Fisi, Kulu ‘Anisi Bloomfield

Pehe ‘e Bloomfield, ko e fiema’u fakavaha’apule’anga ia ki he fefakatau’aki ke fokotu’u ‘a e ‘aho ‘e ‘osi ai ‘a e ‘aonga ‘o e koloa pea tohi mahino ‘i he kofukofu he taumaia ‘e lava ke tohi tahataha ‘i he fo’i tenga’i laise kotoa pe.

Kuo fakahingoa foki ‘a Bloomfield ‘e he Paati Temokalati ‘a e ‘Otumotu Anga’ofa ko ‘enau kanititeiti ia ke lele mei Vava’u 15 ‘i he fili ko ‘eni ‘i Novema. Pea te na fe’auhi ai mo Samiu Vaipulu pe ko hai ‘e fili’i ‘e he vahenga ni ki Fale Alea.

Na’a ne pehe ‘oku ‘ikai ha tokanga ‘e taha ‘a e Tokoni Palemia ia ki he me’a oku hoko ki he kau faingata’a’ia ‘o e saikolone ‘i Ha’apai.

Ko e lau ‘eni ‘a e kanititeiti ‘a e Paati Temokalati hili ia hono ‘ilo ko e ngaahi peketi laise na’e tufa atu na’e toe fakapipiki hifo ‘i ‘olunga he kofukofu ha sitika ‘i he funga ‘o e ‘aho ne ‘uluaki ‘i ai.

Fakatatau ki he kofukofu ko e laise ‘eni na’e hu atu mei Vietinemi ki he Helen Investment Trading Co. Ltd.  Na’e fakapipiki hifo leva ha sitikia ia ‘oku ‘asi ai ‘a e ‘aho ‘o pehe ko e laise ko ‘eni ko ‘ene  ‘kei kano lelei taha ‘e ngata pe ki mu’a  he ‘aho 02-19-2015.’

Na’e hu’uhu’u ha tokolahi ‘o e kau launga pe ko e ha ‘oku toe fakapipiki ai ‘a e sitika ‘i he peketi pea ‘i he’enau vau’i hifo kuo e’a hake ha toe ‘aho ia ‘e taha ‘a ia ne nau tui ko e ‘aho totonu ia pea ‘oku ‘asi hake ai ko e kei kanolelei taha pe ‘a e laise ko ‘eni ‘o ka kai ‘e ngata ia ‘i he ‘aho 15 ‘Epeleli 2014 ‘a ia kuo ‘osi ‘osi ia.

Lolotonga e kilia ‘a e kakai he pango kuo hoko kuo hu mai ‘a Vaipulu ia  he uike ni ‘o tala mai ‘oku ‘ikai ha me’a ia ‘e fehalaaki.

Na’a ne pehe ‘e ia ki he Letio Tonga kuo ‘osi fetu’utaki mo e Siaina na’a ne ma’u mei ai ‘a e laise mo ne pehe na’e toe paaki fo’ou ‘a e peketi ka ‘oku sai pe laise ia.

Na’a ne pehe na’e ‘i ai ‘a e tohi mei Vaiola pea mo e taha mei he kautaha kofu laise ka na’e ‘ikai ke ne fakahingoa mai ‘a e kautaha ko ia pe te ne fakamatala hangatonu mai ko e ha ‘a e lau ‘a e tohi ko ia.

Na’e pehe ‘e Vaipulu na’e ‘ikai manua ‘a e laise pea ‘oku kei ‘i he tu’unga lelei pe ‘a e sitoka ia ko ia.

Na’a ne toe pehe na’e ‘i ai ha lau ‘a e kau ‘taukei ‘i he laise’ ‘o pehe ko e ngaahi ‘aho kuo ‘asi ‘i he kofukofu ‘oku uhinga ia ‘oku holo ‘a e kano lelei ‘o e laise ka ‘oku ‘ikai ke ‘osi hono taimi.

Na’e ‘ikai ke hanga ‘e Vaipulu mo e Letio Tonga ‘o fakahingoa mai pe ko hai ‘a e kau taukei ko ‘eni i he  laise ‘oku nau fakamatala mai.

Na’e pehe ‘e he Tokoni Palemia ko ene a’u ko e a e laise ki he ‘best before date’ pe aho ‘e ngata ai e lelei taha ‘o e laise ki hano kai pea ‘e holo pe ia ‘aki ‘a e peseti ‘e 10 ka ‘oku kei sai pe ia.

Ko e tuo ua ‘aki hake pe ‘eni ha launga ‘i he tufa tokoni me’akai kuo fai ki he kau faingata’a’ia ‘o e saikolone.

I Ma’asi na’e tufa atu ai ‘e he pule’anga ‘enau ‘uluaki tokoni me’akai ki he kau faingata’a’ia ‘o e saikolone ka na’e launga ‘a e kau Ha’apai hono tufa ange ha kapaika kuo nanamu mo ha ngaahi kau fusi  kuo pala.

Kuo fakatokanga ‘a Bloomfield ki he pule’anga ke tuku hono fetuku e veve ki he kainga Ha’apai.

‘I he lau ‘a Bloomfield foki ne ne pehe kuo ‘asi mahino mai eni ‘a e sipinga ngaue  ta’e tokanga ‘i hono leva’i ‘e he puleanga ‘a e tufa me’atokoni ki he kainga ne faingata’a’ia ‘i he saikolone ‘i Ha’apai.

‘Oku kaunga ki he tufa ko ‘eni ‘a e lau miliona ko e pa’anga ne ‘ofa atu mei he ngaahi fonua tu’unga he saikolone.

Pehe ‘e Bloomfield ‘oku fiema’u ke fakatotolo’i ‘a e founga ‘oku fai’aki ‘e he NEMO ‘a e fakatau ‘o e koloa pea kumi ke ‘ilo ko e ha e mahu’inga totonu ‘oe ngaahi koloa.

Na’e pehe foki ‘e ha mau’anga fakamatala mei he ‘ofisi ‘o e NEMO mei vaololoa ki he Kaniva oku nau kumi pe ki he ma’ama’a taha e ala ma’u pea mo hai e fale koloa te ne lava ‘o ma’u ‘a e lahi ‘o e koloa ‘oku ‘amanaki ke nau ‘ota ke ‘ave ki he kau vikitima ‘o e saikolone ‘i Ha’apai.

Na’e pehe ‘e Bloomfield ‘oku totonu ke  hu mai mo e Pule ki he Malu ‘o e Me’akai ‘o fakatotolo’i ‘a e me’a ko ‘eni. Na’a ne pehe foki ‘oku fakamamahi ‘a e toki ulo pe pule’anga ke hu mai he taimi ‘oku launga ai ‘a e kakai ‘o Ha’apai.

‘Oku vivili e tokanga ‘a hotau kakai ko ‘eni ki ha me’akai  he ko e taha ia ‘enau fiema’u tefito ki he mo’ui, ka ‘oku ‘ikai ‘uhinga ia ke hoko ‘enau hohoi ko ia ke tu’u atu ai ‘a e pule’anga ia ‘o ngaohi kovia mo fafanga’aki kinautolu ‘a e veve, ko e lau ia ‘a Bloomfield.

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