Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Freedom of information coming to Tonga?

Tonga is considering a freedom of information law:

Tonga will hold public consultations in July and August on a freedom of information bill, Acting Prime Minister Hon. Samiu Vaipulu said April 22.

He was the keynote speaker at the opening of a three-day “Rights to Information in Tonga Workshop – Freedom of Information Policy Awareness.”

Freedom of Information is a tool towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, he said, according to an article in MatangiTongaonline.

Vaipulu also said a government who is afraid of the media is a government that is afraid of its people – everyone has the right to information and this government has accepted these rights to information, according to the article.

This is good news. Corruption, nepotism and cronyism are major problems in Tonga [PDF] according to Transparency International, and freedom of information will help fight them. The question is whether the law will actually be passed, or whether it will be successfully resisted by the privileged elite of "noble" inbreds who benefit from those crimes.