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The Tongan Ministry of Information and Communications has announced that the Tongan Cabinet has declared Monday, September 17, 2012, as an official public holiday to mark the Official Birthday of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Tupouto'a ‘Ulukalala.
King Tupou V died last spring (2012-03-23) and after a mourning period, the Crown Prince was married (2012-07-02) leading to a switch in the dates of the reigning King's official birthday, and an uncertainty as to the date of the new Crown Prince's birthday holiday, an uncertainty which was partially removed last month (2012-08-15).
Interestingly, the government's aforementioned announcement states that "His Majesty's Cabinet declares that the 17th September of every year shall be observed a public holiday" which is not the understanding that we have from talking to Tongan officials.
For one thing, the date that we have been told would henceforth be mark the Official Birthday of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Tupouto'a ‘Ulukalala, is September 16 (with a day in lieu on the following Monday, when it falls on a Sunday, as it does in 2012). In addition, there is nothing to indicate that this public holiday would not follow the new rules regulating Tongan public holidays (2010-05-19), and which moves the date of some mid-week public holidays to the nearest Monday.
In any event, the difference would only show-up in 2015.
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