27 May 2003

Tongan MPs to seek assurance that government won't ban newspaper again

10:26 am on 27 May 2003

The Tongan Human Rights and Democracy Movement says the people's representatives in the Assembly will want assurances that the government will not try again to ban the Taimi O Tonga newspaper.

The Government has issued a series of five orders to ensure the New Zealand produced Tongan paper was not available in Tonga.

The Supreme Court has quashed the first four of those, the latest yesterday.

Also yesterday it placed an interim injunction on a fifth ban brought in just over a week ago by the Privy Council.

The Privy Council had said its orders could not be subject to judicial review but the Court has rejected that claim.

The Democracy Movement's Lopeti Senituli says the decision has reaffirmed Tongans' faith in their judicial system.

And he says when the Legislative Assembly sits from Thursday this week, the people's representatives will want answers from the Government.

"what they will seek is that the government should be dissuaded from attempting to draft new legislation that would attempt to further place a ban on the Taimi or to revoke the Taimi o Tonga trading license"