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Tomasi Kulimoetoke II

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Tomasi Kulimoetoke II
50th Lavelua of Uvea (Wallis Island)
Lavelua of Uvea
Reign12 March 1959 - 7 May 2007
PredecessorAloisia Brial
Council of Ministers
SuccessorCouncil of Ministers
Kapiliele Faupala
Born26 July 1918
Ha'afuasia, Wallis Island, Wallis and Futuna
Died7 May 2007(2007-05-07) (aged 88)
Mata'Utu, Wallis
HouseTakumasiva Dynasty

Tomasi Kulimoetoke II (26 July 1918 – 7 May 2007) was the 50th Lavelua (King) of Uvea, which is one of the three traditional kingdoms in the French overseas territory of Wallis and Futuna, from 1959 until his death in 2007.

Tomasi Kulimoetoke was born in Ha'afuasia, Hahake District on Wallis island.[1] He was elected king on 12 March 1959, after a 6 month-rule by a Council of Ministers. In the early years, he supported closer links with France, recognising that Wallis was economically dependent on subsidies. After a national referendum, he signed treaty to make Wallis a French overseas territory (Territoire d'Outre-Mer) in 1961.[2]

In 2002, the king riled many of his countrymen, as well as France, by shutting down the island's only newspaper because it had carried an editorial criticising him for giving refuge to a family friend, after she was sentenced to jail for embezzling public funds. Reformists also mocked the king's insistence that Wallisians dismount from their bicycles when passing his palace.

In 2005, the King nearly lost his throne after his grandson, Tomasi Tuugahala, was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison for the involuntary manslaughter of a pedestrian who was killed in a drunk-driving incident on New Year's Eve.[3] The King invited his grandson to take refuge in the royal palace, where he hid for four months before surrendering to the French gendarmes.[4] The King's Prime Minister, holder of the title "Kalae Kivalu" urged the high administrator of the French government Xavier de Fürst to "quit the territory". The King also claimed that the incident was dealt with according to customary tribal law and that the French penal law should be abolished in Uvea.

Reformists wished to depose the King and install Sosefo Mautamakia Ahau Halagahu, son of the late Halagahu as his successor in the northern district "Hihifo". Local riots occurred and the coronation did not take place. The King retained the throne and would be further recognised as such by France. Several hundred of the King's supporters marched and built roadblocks on the island during the crisis.[5]

His daughter Etua took over his ceremonial duties in later years, when he suffered from poor health. He died in Mata-Utu.[6] A six-month mourning period was observed, during which it was taboo to mention a possible successor.[7]

He had six children.[2]


  1. ^ "Tohi tau'ine a te pule'aga falani" (in French). Uvea mo Futuna Online Magazine. 9 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
  2. ^ a b Obituary Archived 2007-05-16 at the Wayback Machine, The Independent, 8 May 2007
  3. ^ "ROYAL FACEOFF CONTINUES ON FRENCH WALLIS ISLAND". Pacific Islands Report. 19 May 2005. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Police arrest Wallis king's convicted grandson following months in hiding in palace". RNZ. 7 June 2005. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  5. ^ Alex Duval Smith (11 August 2005). "Civil war averted in French Pacific territory". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  6. ^ "King of Wallis dies aged 88". RNZ. 7 May 2007. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  7. ^ "Wallis awaits moves to elect new king". RNZ. 6 November 2007. Retrieved 9 August 2021.

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