10 Sep 2008

Tonga reimposes emergency regulations

9:01 pm on 10 September 2008

Tonga has reimposed emergency regulations and extended their powers, nearly two years after a violent rampage left eight people dead.

The new powers allow police to stop and search people without a warrant, and to enter any vehicle, including ships and aircraft, to seize evidence.

Prime Minister Feleti Sevele said a state of danger continues to exist in the capital Nuku'alofa.

Emergency regulations were first imposed after the deadly riots in November 2006 and had been extended every 30 days until they quietly lapsed last month.

However, a statement from the government said new regulations had been imposed to give authorities "the right to preserve public order and secure the public's safety for another month".