Sunday, 10 August 2008 10:13 PM

Regional News to Resume

Due to a lack of resources, we have been unable to cover all events in the previous weeks, including the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts in American Samoa and the Coronation of His Majesty King George Tupou V in Tonga. However, the Regional News section will resume in the coming days.

10th Festival of Pacific Arts in American Samoa

The Pacific Magazine reported that this year's festival, which took place in American Samoa from 20 July until 2 August 2008, welcomed 2000 delegates from 22 Pacific nations and opened with a windy and rainy but cheerful ceremony. Over the following 10 days, artists from all participating countries 'displayed arts forms ranging from the visual and performing arts to traditional architecture and navigation and canoeing', as described in the Samoa Observer.

Eyes are now on Solomon Islands, the host of the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts in 2012. Solomon Islands Minister for Culture, Honorable Seth Gukuna, described this year's celebration as spectacular and said that 'the challenge for his county now is to ensure the next festival is a success so that Pacific arts and culture continues to be elevated to new heights'.

Guam has been chosen to host the event in 2016.


Coronation of His Majesty King George Tupou V in Tonga

Polynesia's only monarch, His Majesty King George Tupou V, has been coroneted on 1 August 2008 in Nuku'alofa, Tonga after several days of traditional Tongan and western-style coronation rituals. The event has been attended by numerous political and traditional leaders from the region and by royalty from all over the world, including 'the Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand and the prime minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, as well as nobility and royalty from most of the nations in the South Pacific. Britain was represented by the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester', as reported by The Guardian.

Long seen as one of the last absolute monarchies in the world, Tonga is expecting considerable changes in the way the country is lead in the coming years. According to BBC News, 'the new king will rule over a semi-feudal political system where he and nobles decide the make-up of the cabinet and parliament. But he has said he supports reforms, scheduled for 2010, in which most seats in the country's parliament will become popularly elected. The promised reforms follow destructive riots in Nuku'alofa in 2006'.

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province