Government terminates Lord Sevele’s Pacific Games office

The Tongan government has announced the termination of the South Pacific Games Chairman Lord Sevele-‘O-Vailahi on May 27, 2016 at 4.30pm.

The government has appointed Tonga’s Solicitor General Sione Sisifā as the Interim CEO and Chairman of the Organising Committee (OC) until further notice.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said: “This decision is based on the significant downgrade of the role of the OC CEO/Chairman since 5 February 2016.

“This occurred when the Government Facilities Committee (GFC) took over the majority of the OC’s role and having inherited over 60 percent of the responsibilities of the OC CEO/Chairman.

“The position is currently being re-evaluated by the Remuneration Authority before it will be re-advertised in due course”.

The news came after the Pacific Games Council chair Vidhy Lakhan warned the kingdom could lose the international tournament.

Lakhan told Tonga’s Audit and Governance Committee which is headed by the Prime Minister that if its proposal to ask for Lord Sevele’s resignation as chair of the Games’ organising committee went ahead, the Pacific Games Council would start looking at the termination clauses of the host country agreement signed by Tonga.

The government however said in its media statement today Tonga is a sovereign state and it has the right to decide what is best to do  to make sure the Games will be successful.

“The decision is in line with Tonga as a sovereign state, Tonga’s Public Financial Management Act for frugal and prudent utilization of its public funds, and the Pacific Games Organization Act 2013 aimed for the successful implementation of the PG2019 in Tonga”, the statement said.

“The PG2019 belongs to the Pacific Games Council (PGC) but its successful implementation depends to a larger extent in the hosting country – the recipient of their product. The Government of Tonga, as a sovereign state, is not to submit to the PGC to decide for Tonga on who to employ to facilitate the PG2019”.


PM waits for advice from department heads after Lord Sevele refuses to resign from Olympic body

PM waits for advice from department heads after Lord Sevele refuses to resign from Olympic body

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