Friday, December 15, 2006

Tonga: Tyranny extended

Meanwhile in Tonga, the Tongan monarchy has extended its state of emergency banning public gatherings and political protests for another month. They have also established a blacklist of "troublemakers" who will be forbidden to enter Tonga - including prominent Tongan democracy campaigners living in New Zealand. As with the Fijian junta, the Tongan regime now seems to be in the business of banning people from returning to their own country, effectively sentencing them to exile in absentia without trial. Why are we supporting this regime again?


Would you like to provide some evidence for you oft-stated claim that we're backing the Tongan dictators? We sent troops to stop more innocent people getting killed in rioting, not to prop up the regime - we said as much when we did it, and I've not been given any reason to believe that's a lie. And now that the rioting's finished, we're home again. At no point did we pledge to keep the Tongan monarchy alive, and at no point did our presence there actually prolong its rule - the riots we helped stop were not an effective means of establishing democracy - it's innocent civilians, not aristocrats, who were dying.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/15/2006 01:43:00 PM

Good question...

Posted by Anonymous : 12/15/2006 03:13:00 PM


By interfering in the way we did, we prevented the rioting leading to reformation.

Imagine if some third party had intervened during the American Revolution. I mean, civilians were being killed then, too.

Posted by Duncan Bayne : 12/15/2006 03:33:00 PM

Our police are still in Tonga, last I heard.

Posted by Commie Mutant Traitor : 12/15/2006 05:34:00 PM

Re Duncan Bayne - But how was the rioting actually helping reformation? It quickly turned into ordinary looting and thuggery, without much being accomplished on the political front at all. If anything, continued rioting would just have soured ordinary Tongans to reform - the fact that innocent civilians died as a result of pro-democracy riots lets the monarchists claim the moral high ground, and many ordinary Tongans might end up supporting the monarchy's authoritarianism just to avoid more lawlessness and destruction. The riots may have begun as pro-democracy, but they weren't serving that purpose by the time we intervened, and may even have been working unintentionally against it.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/16/2006 03:34:00 AM

"Imagine if some third party had intervened during the American Revolution"

Like the French, perhaps Duncan?

Posted by Anonymous : 12/18/2006 12:50:00 PM

The troops sent to Tonga were very low profile and were there simply to ensure that the rioting did not flare again, they certainly were not involved in backing either side of the political debate. There presence was welcomed on the ground by most Tongans who are devestated by the destruction of their home. By the time they arrived, thankfully things had already settled.

The riot on 16/11 was politcally motivated, but much of the looting and burning was purely opportunistic and that needed to be quelled. Let's also not lose sight thou of the fact that the "innocent civilians" who were killed, were clearly looters caught out by the fires, not innocent passers by. There was no violence against people, only property.....

Posted by Anonymous : 12/18/2006 07:12:00 PM