7 July 2006
Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon today expressed shock and sadness to hear of the tragic loss of HRH Prince Tu’ipelehake and his wife Princess Kaimana of the Kingdom of Tonga. The couple and their driver were killed in a motor vehicle accident in the United States on Wednesday, 5 July 2006.
Mr McKinnon said: “Prince Tu’ipelehake was a great leader within Tonga, as a member of the Royal Family and as a Nobles’ representative in the Legislative Assembly. His Royal Highness had always kept the interest of the Tongan people paramount in his mind and heart. His initiative in setting up a National Committee on Political Reform, which received the blessings of His Majesty’s Government and support of the people, is a testimony to this.
“Prince Tu’ipelehake was also a true friend of the Commonwealth and we collectively, in turn, had the greatest admiration and respect for him.”
The Secretary-General also acknowledged the tremendous support provided to His Royal Highness by his wife Princess Kaimana.
The Secretary-General in a letter to the Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon Fred Sevele, conveyed his condolences to His Majesty The King and the Royal Family, and to the Government and people of Tonga.
Note to Editors:
HRH Prince Tu’ipelehake was the Chairman of the National Committee on Political Reform whose mandate was to consult the Tongans both in country and abroad on issues relating to political and constitutional reforms. The Committee’s work was endorsed by His Majesty’s Government in 2005. HRH Prince Tu’ipelehake’s late father was a Prime Minister of Tonga and a brother to the current King, His Majesty King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV.