7 Mar 2003

Tongan newspaper calls for ban to be overturned and for compensation

10:19 am on 7 March 2003

The Taimi O Tonga newspaper, which has been banned from Tonga, has appealed to the Supreme Court to get the ban lifted and for compensation to be paid.

Last week the government banned the paper saying the Taimi was ruthlessly campaigning to overthrow it and that its reporting was unbalanced.

However supporters of the paper say it was banned because it regularly exposed the government failings.

Taimi O Tonga editor, Mateni Tapueluelu, says the appeal calls for the immediate lifting of the ban and for damages incurred as a result of the ban.

Mr Tapueluelu says although the Court already has a full schedule, he hopes it will be tabled by the end of next week.

Meanwhile a protest march organised by pro-democracy MP Isileli Pulu is being planned for today and it is planned that a petition will be presented to the Prime Minister's office.