World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Tongan Soldiers Close Down Kele'a Newspaper

Tongan Soldiers Close Down Kele'a Newspaper

NUKU'ALOFA (Pacnews/IFEX/Pacific Media Watch) - Tongan soldiers forced the closure of the pro-democracy newspaper, Kele'a, last night, without any explanation, according to newspaper editor Tavake Fusimalohi.

In an email to PACNEWS this morning, Fusimalohi said the soldiers only told his employees that the decision came from the military commander, Brigadier General 'Uta'atu. He said the decision was arbitrary and amounted to censorship of the Kelea newspaper.

"This is a blatant breach of natural justice because there was no prior notice to close down the newspaper on Sunday. As such, Kangaroo Justice has arrived in Tonga," Fusimalohi said.

A check at the newspaper confirmed that the employees closed the office yesterday evening but completed production of the newspaper after midnight, PACNEWS was told.

For the past two years, Fusimalohi said the newspaper has been working every Sunday to meet its Monday morning deadline for printing in Auckland.

"The action by the military will go on for sometime as long as the Kele'a newspaper is critical of the government and exposes corrupt practices in the public sectors.

Kele'a has always been critical of the government for the last two decades. It was founded by leading reformist in Tonga, 'Akilisi Pohiva, in July 1986.

PACNEWS understands that the newspaper's latest edition was going to expose confidential documents that exposes a request for an urgent referendum by a Tongan cabinet minister to Prime Minister Dr Feleti Sevele.

The newspaper also has a report on a letter from New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark urging Tonga to move towards democracy.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>


Myanmar: UN Chief Rohingya Refugee Crisis Enters Second Year

Over 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to ramshackle refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar area, Bangladesh after being forced from their homes by a military operation which UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein compared, at the time, to ethnic cleansing. More>>


Scott Morrison In Hot Seat: NZ Congratulates Current Australian PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today congratulated Scott Morrison on winning the leadership of the Australian Liberal Party and has acknowledged outgoing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. More>>


Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC