Tonga. At the beginning of the year, more than 600 people
had been arrested in connection with the violent
demonstrations in the capital Nuku'alofa in November 2006,
when seven people died and a large part of the shops and
public buildings in the center were destroyed. According to
CountryAAH, most suspects
were released, but some of them, including elected MPs, were
charged with incitement and more. In October, the Supreme
Court released six of seven men charged with, among other
things, participation in riots, arson and injury. The
seventh person was found guilty, but only for burglary.
The state of emergency, which was introduced after the
riots in 2006, was repeatedly extended until September 2007.
During the year, the destroyed business district was rebuilt
again with the help of loans and loans from, among other
things. New Zealand, Australia and China.
A new party, Paati Langafonua Tu'uloa (PLT), was formed
in August. Its leader Sione Fonua said the party's most
important task was to find good candidates for the new
parliamentary elections in February 2008. Otherwise, the
party would work to improve the living conditions of the
In conjunction with the Pacific Leaders' Meeting in Tonga
October 16-17, around 100 people with demands for political
change gathered in 2008. The gathering, held at one place
two kilometers from the summit, was led by Akilisi Pohiva,
leader of the Tonga Democracy Movement HRDM (Human Rights
and Democracy Movement) and one of the nation's elected
Tonga joined the World Trade Organization in July in the
WTO. The country applied for membership in 1995 and
negotiations began shortly thereafter.