The Prime Minister of Tonga Hon. ‘Akilisi Pōhiva has given foreigners a warm welcome and said Tonga was a safe and secure country to live in.
Hon. Pōhiva’s statement was made in a tribute to a Chinese couple who were found dead on February 25 in Matafonua, Lakepa.
The bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Wen, who were at their 50s, were found in a bush allotment with obvious wounds.
Police have charged two male teenagers aged 17 and 15 in relation to the couple’s death.
The Hon. Prime Minister said: “Words cannot express how deeply sad and angry I am to know that Mr. and Mrs. Wen were killed in a most violent way. I am also very sad to know that the alleged assailants are a 15 year old and a 17 year old”.
“To Mr. and Mrs. Wen’s son and family, I apologise from the bottom of my heart on behalf of the Government and people of Tonga. That is not how Tongans treat visitors to our shores and those who have chosen to make Tonga their home”, the Hon Prime Minister said.
The couple used to sell vegetables at the Talamahu vegetable market as well as at road-side stalls in Fanga’o Pilolevu.
They were well-known to people, the statement said.
“Mrs. Wen was reportedly to be especially loved by women shoppers who she all called, “My sister!”
The Hon Prime Minister also said: “Let me take the opportunity to reassure all visitors to Tonga that you are most welcome here and that Tonga is your home too. And the Tonga Government and the Tonga Police will do everything within its powers to ensure that you are safe and secure here.”
Prior to Mr. and Mrs. Wen’s death, an Australian woman was seriously injured as a result of a violent home invasion and robbery in the village of Fahefa on Tongatapu. The two assailants are also in Police custody.
Hon. Pōhiva also thanked “Tonga Police for their quick action in apprehending those allegedly responsible for these violent offences against visitors to our shores”.