19 Sep 2007

Tongan MP dismisses government's stance for emergency rule

1:43 pm on 19 September 2007

Tonga's most prominent democracy advocate has rejected the government's claims of ongoing security threats in the capital.

The government this month imposed a limited state of emergency in parts of Nuku'alofa for the tenth time since the riot in November last year.

It says police intelligence shows some elements within the pro-democracy movement may pose a threat to public order.

But the leading People's Representative, Akilisi Pohiva, whose group is unhappy reforms have been delayed for another three years, says the government needs to say just what its concerns are because he believes there is no threat.

"The accusation saying that there are elements of violence, is not true, is not true. All the people here in Tonga, they are secure, they feel that there is peace in the country, except one person, the Prime Minister. He is the only one person in Tonga who is still escorted by police and soldiers. The rest of the people they feel free, they feel that there is peace in the country."

Akilisi Pohiva