It's offical: we are now on the wrong side in Tonga. The Tongan pro-democracy movement has condemned the intervention of New Zealand and Australian troops:
The movement says the intervention is further proof of the failure of Prime Minister Fred Sevele and his largely non-elected Government.
Pro-democracy movement MP Akilisi Pohiva says the Government failed to heed the warning signs of frustration among the people of Tonga, and its security apparatus failed to ensure law and order when trouble started on the streets of Nuku'alofa.
Mr Pohiva says the death and destruction caused during the riots is a regrettable part of the process of democratic change that is now sweeping the country.
He and his supporters have called on the King to dissolve Parliament and appoint an interim administration comprising the heads of government departments pending fresh fully democratic elections.
Meanwhile, Dr Sitiveni Halapua, one of Tonga's most prominent democrats and the head of the government committee which laid out Tonga's path to democracy, says that we are now "propping the government up against everybody else" and that
there was a belief among some some people in Nuku'alofa that the New Zealand and Australian forces were coming "to make people afraid and to support the government".
Instead, said Halapua, the government should step down so the foreign forces could work with a new leadership.
These are the voices of democratic legitimacy in Tonga, and they are telling us that they do not want us there to put a boot on the throat of Tongan democracy and keep the monarchy in power. And neither do I.
Update: Added link to Sunday Star-Times piece.