- News Feature : Courage needed to stop sexual abuse epidemic in Samoa [21/09/2017 - Samoa]
- News Feature : Pacific governments commit to advance early childhood development to provide the best start to life for all children [21/09/2017 - Fiji]
- Business News : IFC-led survey reveals value of PNG’s Tourism sector [21/09/2017 - Papua New Guinea]
- News : Nauru President calls on North Korea to have dialogue with disputing countries in the Korean Peninsula [21/09/2017 - United States]
- News : Least Developed Countries Group Push for Decisive Climate Action at United Nations General Assembly [21/09/2017 - United States]
- News : Ballot date set for Fiji's Confederation of Public Sector Unions [21/09/2017 - Fiji]
- News Feature : Milestone moment for Nuclear free Pacific [21/09/2017 - Fiji]
- News Feature : ‘UN reformer’ Guterres must do more on climate change [21/09/2017 - United States]
- News Feature : The US proposes to expose key Pacific marine protected areas to commercial fishing [21/09/2017 - Samoa]
- Business News : Samoa Airways set for Auckland to Faleolo Airport maiden flight [21/09/2017 - Samoa]
- Business News : PNG Mining Tuke optimistic about Mining Act review [21/09/2017 - Papua New Guinea]
- News : Haitian President backs Paris climate accord [21/09/2017 - United States]
- Sponsored : Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC)
Should Fiji return to the Pacific Islands Forum 1: 2: 3: 4: You need to login to participate in our polls.
Country profile - Tonga
A deeply conservative, Christian country, it is ruled by a king supported by hereditary noblemen who together have a perpetual majority in parliament, electing or appointing 21 of its 30 members.
A former British protectorate, Tonga became fully independent in 1970, though it was never formally colonised.
Tonga has no strategic or mineral resources and relies on agriculture, fishing and the money sent home by Tongans living abroad, many of them in New Zealand. Unemployment is high, particularly among the young.
Endowed with tropical beaches, rainforest, active volcanoes and ideal diving conditions, it has a developing tourist industry, its main source of hard currency.
Almost all Tongans are Polynesian and its population has remained largely untouched by immigration. This has made it ideal for genetic research into the causes of common diseases.
Although Tonga has a highly traditional society, some young, Western-educated Tongans have called for a new, more democratic constitution that would allow for direct elections to all parliamentary seats while retaining a titular monarchy.
A tentative step towards reform was taken in early 2005 when elected MPs were appointed to the cabinet for the first time. Previously, all cabinet members had been handpicked by the king from outside parliament.
But demands for change have become stronger. A public sector strike in 2005, marked by major street demonstrations, expanded into a campaign for political reform. In November 2006, riots erupted in the capital. Eight people were killed and much of the capital's business district was destroyed.
Additional information Full name: Kingdom of Tonga Population: 100,000 (UN, 2007) Capital: Nuku'alofa Area: 748 sq km (289 sq miles) Major languages: Tongan, English Major religions: Christianity Monetary unit: 1 pa'anga = 100 seniti Main exports: Fish, pumpkins, coconut products, vanilla beans
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media