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Ratu Epeli to attend funeral in Tonga

March 24, 2012 7:07 pm

The President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and First Lady Adi Koila Nailatakau will attend the funeral of the late King of Tonga, George Tupou V.

Ratu Epeli departed yesterday afternoon for Tonga and will join regional leaders for the state funeral for the late monarch.

This week Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama highlighted the passing away of the King was a huge loss for the Pacific.

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Bainimarama says Fiji would continue to strive to maintain its traditional links and bilateral cooperation with the kingdom.

The funeral of the late King will be held on Tuesday brought forward at the request of his successor King Tupou the VI.

The king’s body will arrive in Tonga on Monday from Hong Kong, where he died in hospital on last Sunday aged 63.

His body will lie in state in the royal palace for a day before his burial.

Tonga has declared an official period of mourning until June 19 for the dead monarch, remembered as an eccentric who brought democracy to his nation.

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