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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

Government of Tonga ready to give up hosting 2019 Pacific Games, says PM

The Tongan Government has threatened to withdraw its right to host the 2019 Pacific Games, in light of the unresolved differences between the Prime Minister, the local organizing committee of the 2019 Games and the Pacific Games Council (PGC), PACNEWS has established.

A three page letter from Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva to the President of the Pacific Games Council, Vidya Lakhan on 20 May said, "The Government of Tonga is prepared to withdraw all of its funding and support towards the operations of the Organising Committee (OC) should the matter at hand remain unresolved.'

In addition, PM Pohiva dared the Games Council to 'withdraw the Pacific Games of 2019 from Tonga if you insist on your own unwarranted terms and conditions.'

The Tongan Government injected TOP3 million (US$1.28 million) to the operations of the Organising Committee and decided in February this year to transfer the work of the Organising Committee headed by Lord Sevele to a Government Facilities Committee.

The on-going tussle between the parties stemmed from the removal of Lord Sevele last week as directed by the Prime Minister.

The Pacific Games Council stood by the decision of Lord Sevele not to vacate office saying it did not recognise the directive of the Prime Minister to revoke his appointment.

President Vidya Lakhan said the PGC is the sole authority responsible for the direction and control of the Pacific Games. Any decision to hire or remove members of the Organising Committee rests with TASANOC, the local national olympic committee.

"Your objection of the AGA's power of appointment is directly contradictory not only to the PGC itself but all Parties in the change they made from the Agreement in 2012 to the Act of 2013. This is questionable and utterly dishonorable to all Parties involved, let alone to Tonga as potential client of your Pacific Games, said PM Pohiva to Lakhan.

The Tongan PM said his government has acted in the best interest of the country in the promotion and preparation of the Pacific Games.

"It has not violated any agreements or charter other than following due sensible process and procedures outlined in the Tonna Pacific Games Organisation ACt of 2013 of which the Tongan Government, TASANOC and PGC are all Parties, said the PM.


Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article


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