13 Mar 2003

Taimi O Tonga says government determined to ban paper

5:09 pm on 13 March 2003

The publisher of the Taimi O Tonga newspaper, Kalafi Moala, says an additional ban placed on it this week by the Tongan Privy Council shows how determined the government is to stop the paper.

The Privy Council, which is effectively the highest branch of the monarchy's executive, says the paper is a prohibited document.

This comes after earlier decisions by customs making the Auckland produced paper a prohibited import and the Prime Minister's Office claiming it was being used to try and topple the government.

"What really concerns me, it just shows that all the way to the top in government they are pretty determined to really stop the newspaper, not just to stop it from being imported, even if they produce it in Tonga, it still becomes a prohibited publication."

Kalafi Moala.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet's spokesperson, Eseta Fusitua, says while acknowledging there have been complaints over the ban on the Taimi O Tonga, the Government has been praised for its actions.

Government has had a lot of communications, particularly from Tongans abroad, thanking for the actin government has taken.