Tonga

Students inspire with recycled items

The Environment Department held several programmes including tree planting to encourage the public to plant more trees at the same time raise awareness and urge action to the impacts faced by the devastation of climate change. 

Tonga holds awareness training on Methamphetamine and Clandestine Lab

The training is part of an ongoing awareness by Tonga Police set in motion to combat the war on illicit drugs.

“The fight against illicit drugs is not just a police problem, it is a social problem that requires social solutions and an increased collective effort in working together and greater sharing of information amongst government agencies, non-government agencies and communities,” said Acting Police Commissioner Vaisuai.

MP Lavulavu says she still supports PM Pōhiva; she finally resigns

The Prime Minister demanded MP Lavulavu’s resignation as Minister of Internal Affairs after Police charged her and her husband former Minister and MP ‘Etuate Lavulavu with three counts of obtaining by false pretences and three counts of knowingly dealing with forged documents.

MP ‘Akosita refused to resign citing constitutional rights in which she claimed the Prime Minister has no right to dismiss her because of her criminal charges.

In a letter to Pōhiva on 18 June 2018 seen by Kaniva News MP ‘Akosita finally asked the Prime Minister to forgive her.

Tonga evaluating strength of anti-money laundering laws

The acting Attorney-General 'Aminiasi Kefu said the project is being carried out by the government and the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering.

The move comes eight years after the last evaluation, which found the kingdom fell short of international standards in 16 areas.

But Mr Kefu said a lot had been done to strengthen the country's position since then.

Historic pacemaker surgeries done in Tonga

The surgeries, which are continuing today, marked an historic moment for health in Tonga.

Matangi Tonga reports the patients, aged between 77 and 90 years, had already had pacemakers inserted but need to have them replaced.

The surgery team is part of an organisation called Pacific Island Pacemakers Services.

Sione Latu, Cardiologist at Vaiola Hospital, said normally Tongans had to travel overseas to get the same pacemaker procedure done at a high cost.

Tonga MAF warns against harvesting and exporting of sandalwood

The warning came after the Ministry received reports that sandalwood plants had been harvested and stolen in Ha’apai.

Kaniva News reports that Sione Foliaki from the Ministry’s office in Tongatapu said he is aware of the reports.

He said it was announced on local radios reminding the public that harvesting and exporting of the “protected” plant is illegal.

According to the Ministry it “could be classified as a threatened species in the sense that it is very vulnerable to theft – so much so that the Tonga Timber Company is no longer planting sandalwood.”

Tonga MAF warns against harvesting and exporting of sandalwood

The warning came after the Ministry received reports that sandalwood plants had been harvested and stolen in Ha’apai.

Kaniva News reports that Sione Foliaki from the Ministry’s office in Tongatapu said he is aware of the reports.

He said it was announced on local radios reminding the public that harvesting and exporting of the “protected” plant is illegal.

According to the Ministry it “could be classified as a threatened species in the sense that it is very vulnerable to theft – so much so that the Tonga Timber Company is no longer planting sandalwood.”

Tonga's Teufaiva Stadium set to re-open

Teufaiva was badly damaged in February's Cyclone Gita, less than a year after the ground was reopened following a $US1.5 million dollar upgrade.

Prior to that, the stadium was out of commission for international events, with no test rugby played at the ground for eight years.

The CEO of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Tonga, 'Onetoto 'Anisi, said work to upgrade the field has now been completed, thanks to assistance from the New Zealand government, and the focus has moved to widening the running track to meet IAAF standards.

Tonga's PM wants regional push for China to forgive debts

'Akilisi Pohiva says Tonga is two years overdue on Chinese loan payments, but will this year pay $US14 million towards its outstanding $US160 million debt.

He told the Samoa Observer that if Pacific Islands don't pay their debts to China's government, it will seize their assets as collateral.

He says the only option for Tonga and other indebted nations is to ask China to forgive the debts.

Mr Pohiva has repeatedly asked China's government to forgive Tonga's debt, which is a substantial portion of the kingdom's GDP, or convert the loans to grants.

Tongan police officer arrested following drug raid

The suspects were arrested during a drug at a home in Ngele’ia.

The Police Drug Taskforce seized 8.32 grams of methamphetamine, 1.32 grams of cannabis seeds, cash, electronic devices and a live bullet during the raid.

The police officer who was off-duty has now been suspended from work.

Magistrate Salesi Mafi has ordered all 5 suspects to be remanded in police custody until Friday, 17 August 2018.

Police investigation continues.