His Majesty King Tupou VI graced the Groundbreaking Ceremony and unveiled the Foundation Stone of the Tonga Government Building – St. George Palace Project, envisioned by His Late Majesty King George Tupou V, at the Project site – Pangai Si’i on 25th August, 2015 at 2.00 p.m.
Also at the Ceremony were H.R.H. Crown Princess Sinaitakala, some of the Lords of the Realm, Cabinet Ministers and Parliamentarians, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, the Chief Justice, Chief Executive Officers of Ministries, Public Enterprises, and Representatives of the Private Sector, Civil Society, District Officers and some of the People of Tonga.
The Royal Chaplain and President of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga, Rev. Dr. ‘Ahio offered the Thanksgiving Prayer and Dedication of the Project.
According to the Prime Minister, Hon. Samuela ‘Akilisi Pōhivá, in his Welcome Speech:-
“Towards the end of 2010, the Constitutional and Electoral Reform Programme was drawing close to a successful completion. At the same time, the formulation of a similar crucial development program was in the pipeline, which culminated in a project envisioned by His Late Majesty King George Tupou V, and granted the title of St. George Palace. ”
This project comprised the construction of a Government Comprehensive Building, at a very central location to accommodate key Ministries and Agencies, and Meeting Venues, so as to capitalise on the opportunity to foster cooperation in close proximity between Line Ministries and major Stakeholders in Non – Government Organizations, and availability of Conference Venues, timely and effective Communication Facilities, but most importantly, to facilitate alignment, and utilize similarities in striving to pursue and accomplish objectives and outcomes in accordance with feasibility studies, performance measures, and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms under the National Strategic Development Framework.
This monumental Development Project has been made possible by the Grant Assistance of the Government of the People’s Republic of China. In delivering his speech, the Ambassador of China, H. E. Mr. Huang Huaguang said that:-
“In Tonga, the development of tourist resources, the improvement of infrastructure, the promotion of people’s living standard all require more input of financial and human resources. Chinese government will continue to support the economic and social development of Tonga within her power and at the same time encourage more Chinese companies to invest here in Tonga to use their financial and technical advantages to realize more mutual beneficial cooperation.”
In delivering the Vote of Thanks, the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni, extended the profound gratitude of the Government and the People of Tonga, for the pleasure of His Majesty King Tupou VI to grace the Ground breaking Ceremony and unveil the foundation stone of the Tonga Government Building – St. George Palace Project. He thanked the Chinese Government wholeheartedly for the munificent assistance and the continued consistent efforts of representatives of both Governments between 2011 and 2014 in accordance with due diligence and their respective processes which had culminated in the realization today of the invaluable vision for the benefit of the people of Tonga and the resulting fostering of closer, cordial and fervent relations between the Kingdom of Tonga and the People’s Republic of China.
Issued by the: The Prime Minister’s Office, P.O. Box 62, Nuku’alofa, Tonga. Tel: (676) 24 644 Fax: (676) 23 888; For media enquiries- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org