Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that as the Ranking Member of the House International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific he will be attending the final services and burial of His late Majesty King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV on Tuesday, September 19, 2006. The Honorable Tu’a Taumoepeau Tupou, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Tonga, contacted Faleomavaega by letter on September 12, 2006 officially informing him of the King’s death and the State Funeral and Royal Burial to be held at the Royal Tombs.
“King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV was a majestic leader and most beloved Sovereign. He closely maintained the ancient and historic ties between Samoa and Tonga and was a world-renowned Statesman whose efforts resulted in the emergence of modern politics in the South Pacific region. However, His late Majesty will forever be remembered as a devoted Christian who humbly served his fellow-man. More than ever, I will always cherish the insights and wisdom King Tupou IV shared with me, and I will deeply miss him,” Faleomavaega said.
“During this time of profound sorrow, I join with the people of American Samoa in offering our earnest and heartfelt condolences to Her Majesty Queen Mata’aho and the Royal children. To His Majesty King George Tupou V, we also offer our support.”
His late Majesty will lie in state upon his arrival from Auckland September 14 at the Royal Palace, and the State Funeral and Royal Burial at the Royal Tombs will be on Tuesday, September 19. An official period of mourning began last Sunday for the Kingdom of Tonga and it will last until October 17, 2006.
“In this altogether sad time, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Tonga for like them we agree that truly the sun has fallen,” Faleomavaega concluded.