Tonga must be alert to potential security threat, Deputy Prime Minister Semisi Sika said on Friday.
Hon. Sika was speaking at an early morning memorial service for the victims of the Christchurch massacre held at Tonga Police Headquarters in Nuku’alofa.
“The World changed for us all on March 15,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“Tongan Police must be alert and prepared for anything that comes their way. We must all be alert and prepared for anything that comes their way.
“We must all be alert to potential threats to our border and work together to ensure Tonga’s security is not compromised.”
The short ceremony began with the raising of the Tongan flag to half-mast whilst the Tongan and New Zealand national anthems were being played by the Tonga Police Brass Band.
This was followed by verses from the hymn, ‘Abide With Me’ and a prayer offered by Rev. Viliam Fanaika.
“We raise our Flag today at half-mast to show our respect, our deep sense of loss and mourning for the 50 New Zealanders murdered at their place of worship in Christchurch,” Hon. Sika said.
“As we pay our respects we salute the leadership and humanity of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the courage and solidarity shown by New Zealanders to this tragic event.
“I take time to commend the courage and professionalism of the New Zealand Police in putting themselves in harm’s way to protect their citizens, the other courageous First Responders and Emergency Services and all individuals, that went to help with the dead, dying and wounded and those that were blessed to survive.
“This is a day of Remembrance to the families and loved ones of the fallen and also to show our respect and solidarity with New Zealand in their hour of sorrow and reflection.”
Present at yesterday’s service were the Acting New Zealand High Commissioner, Elena Procuta, the Australian High Commissioner, Adrian Morrison, the Minister for Lands and Minister responsible for His Majesty’s Armed Forces, Lord Ma’afu and other Cabinet Ministers, Police Commissioner Stephen Caldwell and his senior officers and advisors and the Chaplain of Tonga Police, Rev Viliami Fanaika as well as other Church leaders.
As Kaniva Tonga news reported earlier, Members of Parliament took part in a one minute silence last Monday morning to pay respects for the victims of Christchurch’s terror attack.
Acting Speaker Lord Tu’ilakepa said the minute was in respect for the memory of those killed and hurt in the attack on Friday, which left 50 dead and at least 50 injured
Lord Tu’ilakepa said in Tongan: “Oku ou fie ‘oatu ‘a e fie kaungā mamahi ‘a e Fale Alea ‘o Tongá mo e kakai ‘o Nu’usilá, ‘oku ‘oatu heni ha faka’apa’apa, mo e fiekaungā mamahi mo’oni ‘a e Fale Alea ‘o Tonga, mo e kakai ‘o Nu’usila koe’uhi ko e pulonga kuo tō he fonuá, tupu mei he fakapō ta’e’amanekina, ne hoko ‘i Christchurch, ‘i he ‘aho Falaite 15 ‘o Mā’asi, 2019.”
Last week we reported that Tongans living in New Zealand had been asked to wear black this week as a sign of support for the country’s Muslim community.
Tongan church groups have been holding special prayer sessions for the cessation of terrorism.
Last Sunday the brass band from the Pulela’a Methodist Church in New Lynn played outside an Auckland mosque. Church members prayed and laid flowers.
The main points
- Tonga must be alert to potential security threat. Deputy Prime Minister Semisi Sika aid yesterday.
- Hon. Sika was speaking at an early morning memorial service for the victims of the Christchurch massacre held at Tonga Police Headquarters in Nuku’alofa.
- “The World changed for us all on March 15,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
For more information
NZ marks Christchurch massacre with week of vigils and prayers, more events planned today
Tongans in New Zealand show solidarity with Muslims after racist murders in Christchurch