World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


NGO: NO To Sending Our Troops To Afghanistan

NGO: NO To Sending Our Troops To Afghanistan

The Women and Children Crisis Centre (WCCC) is putting the pressure on to revise a decision recently passed in Tongan parliament to send troops to Afghanistan.

55 Tongan soldiers are committed to begin service in Afghanistan in November, with a total of 275 soldiers committed over a two-year period. The British Government will fund the program, will Tongan defence force troops to be paid £30 (80 TOP) a day for service.

Debates in parliament regarding the Bill, which was passed with a unanimous vote 22 – 0, were centred on employment – which the WCCC believes are short sighted.

“The obvious short term impacts of this decision may be employment – but at what cost?” said the Director of the WCCC, Ofa-ki-Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki.

“Not only are the lives of soldiers on the line – those who return from warfare experience significant trauma, and are exposed to a culture of violence. Then consider the impact this has on the soldiers’ families, their spouses, their children. We work so hard for peace here in Tonga – it is very disappointing to see us willingly participate in violence”

The NGO, which works to eliminate violence in the Kingdom, is calling for a national referendum on sending Tongan troops to Afghanistan. “The fact is that this process should have been a national referendum – it is a matter of national significance, with long term implications for the Tongan workforce and security of our country.

We have to question the net benefits of this decision, because clearly the Government has not considered them” said Guttenbeil Likiliki.

WCCC is concerned with the process surrounding the decision. “There was no time to have a national discussion about the benefits and detriments of this important decision. It was pulled from under the carpet – all of a sudden we hear on radio that Parliament’s debate will be on whether our troops should go to Afghanistan or not. The next morning, the decision is made. It’s simply not enough time for parliamentarians and the nation to consider the implications of such an important decision” said Guttenbeil-Likiliki.

Officials have claimed that the situation in Afghanistan is safer than Iraq, where Tongan soldiers served from 2004 to 2006, and again from 2007 to December 2008.

“Using Iraq as a measurement is completely unacceptable. It is like saying that our budget deficit is not as big as it was last year. Therefore it is fine for us to have a budget deficit. It is not a matter of one war being perceived as ‘safer’ than another. All wars are unsafe, and we must question our involvement.”

Two Fijian soldiers have already died in conflict in Afghanistan this year. “Obviously Afghanistan is a security threat. To suggest otherwise is completely ignorant. We have to ask whether these soldiers are getting paid enough to risk their life. Really, can any
amount of money justify this risk?"

Like Tonga’s defence force, Fijian troops were approached by the British Government. "Why should our pacific women and men die for a war they are not connected to? Supporting Britain places us in a position of high risk – we are now aligned with the big guns in a war which the United Nations did not authorise and as a result Tonga will now be open to terrorist threats.”

Concern has also been expressed that the Governments unanimous decision may have more sinister undertones. “If Tonga was to have a military uprising, such as in Fiji, this experience of our soldiers would be an ideal training ground for a militia backed government. That is hardly a situation we would willingly become involved in, especially now when we are supposed to be forging our way towards a new democratic monarch system of government.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 


21 Egyptians Beheaded

Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday, a day after the group there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, drawing Cairo directly into the conflict across its border. More>>

Protests In Bil’in Honoring Slain US Citizens

Protesters at demonstration in Bil’in honoring slain US citizens face attacks and arrests by Israeli forces. More>>

Resolution Targeting Sources Of Financing For ISIL

Ambassadors representing two countries under attack from ISIL, Bashar Ja’afari (right) of Syria, and Mohamed Ali Alhakim of Iraq, speak to journalists following the adoption of a Security Council resolution targeting sources of financing for ... More>>

ALSO:

  • U.S. Department of State - Support for Authorization for Use of Military Force
  • "Pakistan Probably Harboured Osama Bin Laden"

    Former ISI head Lt. Gen. Asad Durrani tells Al Jazeera Pakistan probably harboured Osama Bin Laden More>>

    "Pakistan Probably Harboured Osama Bin Laden"

    Former ISI head Lt. Gen. Asad Durrani tells Al Jazeera Pakistan probably harboured Osama Bin Laden More>>

    ISM Honours Kayla Mueller

    Abdullah Abu Rahma, coordinator of the popular committee in the village of Bil’in where Kayla joined the protests, told ISM: “Kayla came to Palestine to stand in solidarity with us. She marched with us and faced the military that occupies our ... More>>


    US Measles Outbreak: UN Urges Parents Vaccinate Children

    3 February 2015 – Parents in the United States must vaccinate their children against measles in order to maintain the high levels of immunity necessary in keeping outbreaks of the aggressively contagious virus small and contained, the United Nations World ... More>>

    Ebola: Large-Scale Vaccine Trials Under Way In Liberia

    WHO welcomed the donation by the Public Health Agency of Canada of 800 vials of one of the leading candidate Ebola vaccines, rVSV-ZEBOV. Photo: WHO/M. Missioneiro (file) More>>

    Security Council Denounce Murder Of Jordanian Pilot

    3 February 2015 – For the second time in as many days, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations Security Council have jointly condemned the brutal killing of a civilian by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – this time deploring ... More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news