Tonga sued for millions of dollars because of Games withdrawal

The government pulled out of their hosting agreement last year, citing financial difficulties.

The Supreme Court has issued a Summons of Writ which the government has 28 days from issuance, (May 15), to answer.

The Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue said the body was seeking damages for the losses that it suffered as a result of the unilateral decision to withdraw without consultation.

TASANOC is seeking the same.

Mr Minogue said the claim was for three parts of the damages that were being sought as far as the council was concerned.

Tongan man charged with firing airgun in school grounds

Police said they responded to a complaint from the school about a man who was threatening students, and firing an airgun in the air.

No one was injured.

The man was arrested on Friday after a search.

He has been charged with possession of an illegal firearm and discharging a firearm within the boundaries of a town.

He was released on bail on Monday to appear at the Magistrates Court on a later date.


Photo Kaniva News 



Woman allegedly hid meth in diaper

The Police Drug Taskforce executed three different search warrants which resulted in seizure of illicit drugs, illegal firearms and ammunition as well as cash.

On Monday, 14 May 2018 Police arrested a 34-year-old man from Lapaha with two packets of cannabis.

A search of his residence on Wednesday 16 May led Police to seizing a pistol gun, a shotgun, a rifle and 123 live ammunition.

Police arrested a 34-year-old-man from Hoi in Nuku’alofa with 0.47grams of methamphetamine on Wednesday 16 at around 10:00am

Toni Pulu, Jimmy Tupou on Tonga radar

'Ikale Tahi coach Toutai Kefu has selected six new caps in his squad for next month's Pacific Nations Cup, including former Highlanders captain Nasi Manu.

He said Pulu and Tupou were among a group of players who were also keen to be involved but their situation was complicated because their current Super Rugby deals expire in a couple of months.

"Those players haven't acquired a club yet when Super Rugby is finished so the scenario for them is they could still be playing Super Rugby next year so it's just that uncertainty for them," he said.

Petition to impeach Tonga PM and ministers due Friday

The Secretary-General of the Public Service Association, Mele 'Amanaki, said a six member committee, including herself, organised the petition.

Ms 'Amanaki, was a candidate in the last two general elections.

Matangi Tonga reported the petition had been posted online for in an effort to gather more signatures.

The call for impeachment was for 'Akilisi Pohiva and six of his ministers, namely Semisi Sika, Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa, Penisimani Fifita, Mateni Tapueluelu, Vuna Fa'otusia and Tu'i Uata.

Tongan minister providing Pacific voice against NCDs

In March, Saia Piukala was appointed to the World Health Organisation's Independent Global Commission on NCDs.

Dr Piukala said the commission was compiling a report which would be presented to the WHO for discussion shortly before being released next month.

He said there would be four main areas of concern.


Tonga being discussed as part of major tour in Oct by Prince Harry and Meghan

A high-profile trip to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga in October is being discussed at the highest level and aides are promising that the second half of this year will be ‘incredibly busy’ with official visits.

The couple have already announced that they are delaying their honeymoon to return to work the week after their nuptials.

It is anticipated that Miss Markle – now the Duchess of Sussex – will join the Queen at the Chelsea Flower Show for the first time and make an appearance at one of her annual garden parties in the coming weeks.

A time to shine for Tonga's silenced leitis

Leiti is short for the term fakaleiti, a term that describes a person who is born as a male, but who acts in a feminine way, just like a lady. Debate still flourishes over whether leitis are born female, or are nurtured to be that way.

But despite their integral part in Tongan culture leitis face innumerable struggles, particularly against discrimination which, they say, has been brought upon by the rise of outside influences.

'Closely failed states' in the Pacific blamed for NZ's drug problems

Shane Jones who holds several portfolios, including forestry and infrastructure, made the remark in response to questions about the Government's Pacific reset strategy - where foreign aid is being boosted by roughly $US500-million dollars over the next four years.

"Many of the problems that we are dealing with here, with P (methamphetamine) and drugs, where do you think that is coming from folks? That is coming from closely failed states in the Pacific," Mr Jones told journalists.

'Leitis in Waiting' film internationally recognised

Titled 'Leitis in Waiting', it tells the story of Joey Joleen Mataele's life in Tonga over the course of a year.

The story highlights the battles many leiti's face everyday in the Kingdom such as the impact of Tonga's sodomy and cross-dressing laws.

Mataele said despite the film's accolades, life in Tonga's conservative and religious society isn't easy.