Pastor says gov’t should stop travelling and hold prayer, fasting meetings online to save  money

‘Oku tui ‘a Faifekau Sioeli Kalekele ‘oku ‘ikai ko ha ‘īmisi ‘eni ‘o ha lotu mo’oni ‘oku fakahoko’aki ‘a e polokalama lotu mo ‘aukai fakafonua ‘a e pule’anga' tokua ke ta’ofi’aki ha hū ‘a e Koviti-19 ki Tonga’. ‘I he’ene lau’ na’a’ ne pehē: “‘Oku ikai te u tui ki he me’a oku nau fai. Kapau ko e ofa fonua na’a nau taki taha totongi ene fea he oku nau vahe lalahi. ‘Oku ta’emooni ‘a e pehē ko e lotu mo e ‘aukai mo’oni eni. Kapau na’e tuku fu’u silini ko ‘eni ke kumi ha valitā ke tanu aki ‘a e hala’ kae tuku hono fakakavenga’i kakai ke nau toe kumi valitaa’ oku sai ange ia. Pea tuku e folau holo kae fai pe mei Tongatapu kae laivi ikai mole ai ha lau kilu.” Na’a’ ne ‘uluaki pehē ki mu’a atu na’e mei lelei ange ka ne ‘ave silini fakamole ko ‘eni ‘o tokoni’i’aki ‘a e kau tō meleni kuo faka’auha ‘enau meleni’ ‘i Nu’u Sila’. Na'a' ne na'ina'i ki he pule'anga' ke tuku e tānaki koloa mo hono lohiaki'i e kakai masiva 'o e fonua' mo e faka'ofa.

The government should stop travelling to the outer islands and do its prayer and fasting meetings via the internet, a Tongan pastor said this weekend.

Pastor Sioeli Kalekale (R), PM Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa

Pastor Sioeli Kalekale, an Upper Room Church minister in Christchurch said going online would save hundreds of thousands of pa’anga.

Rev. Kalekale’s comments join a barrage of criticism that has been made against the government’s tours of the outer islands, with critics saying they are simply a way for ministers to collect gifts.

Photographs taken on Nomuka island at celebrations to launch construction of a new wharf show fish, mats and other gifts lined up in front of the official stand.

“I do not believe in what they do,” Pastor Kalekale said.

“If they regarded it as the way to show their love for the nation they should pay for their fares because they have huge amounts of salary.

“To say this is true prayer and fasting it is untrue.

“That money should have been saved to buy tar to build the roads. Stop obliging the people to buy tar and stop traveling to the outer islands.

“That is how I see Christ’s soul in this.”

The administrator of the Ministry of Infrastructure Facebook page described the hā’unga presentation on its Facebook page as “beautiful” and said the people of Nomuka “welcomed the tour courteously.”

He made a call earlier for the government to use the money to help growers whose watermelons were blocked from entering New Zealand.

He also criticised the government’s collecting handicrafts from poor people and called on them to “stop lying to people as they are pitiable.”

Rev. Kalekale told Kaniva News he was not interested in politics. He said his role was to provide spiritual and leadership advice.

The administrator of the Ministry of Infrastructure Facebook page described the hā’unga presentation on its Facebook page as “beautiful” and said the people of Nomuka “welcomed the tour courteously.”

It said the tour was made because of an immense (“kāfakafa”) project.

In response to earlier criticism of the tours by veteran journalist Kalafi Moala, the Prime Minister  said it was important for him to meet the people personally.

He said it was an occasion in which family and friends who had not seen each other for a long time met.

“That’s what keeps our love each other, our culture, our unity and working together to build the nation,” he said.

“That’s our Tongan philosophical ground upon which Faa’i Kaveikoula (Tonga’s Pillars) of respect, loyalty, keeping the relationships well and humility stand.”

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