Gov’t wants to curb crimes against foreigners, but says guns aren’t the answer

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Minister of Justice Hon. Vuna Fāʻotusia. Photo/Fale Alea o Tonga

The Tongan government has set up a sub-committee to investigate crimes against Chinese and other expatriates in Tonga.

Justice Minister Sione Vuna Fa’otusia  said attacks on foreigners were a grave concern to the government.

The subcommittee will be chaired by Hon. Fa’otusia and will also include the Minister of Police, the Commissioner of Police, the Commander of the Tonga Defence Force and the Commissioner of Prisons. It may also co-opt other members.

“This committee is to see what we can do to mitigate this rather senseless crime against the Chinese and foreigners in the land,” the Minister said.

“The Chinese were brought here by the late King Tupou IV so that we may learn from their work ethic!

“Instead, our people have kept on abusing this people in our land.

“What a shameful act !”

Hon. Fa’otusia said Cabinet was working towards the safety of the Chinese and the Police Force and the Tongan Defence Force were working together to prevent their abuse.

“We are also working with the office of the Attorney General to see whether laws regarding senseless violent crime, including armed robbery, are in line with the rest of the other common law jurisdiction,” he said.

The Minister was responding to questions from Kaniva News following a story we ran earlier this year.

That story referred to the robbery of a Chinese shop in Tonga. Subsequent online comments suggested Tongan residents should be able to buy guns to protect themselves.

However, that appears to be a step too far for the government.

Hon. Fa’otusia said arming the public had never crossed his mind. He said the idea of people being allowed to buy guns was “a bit too western.”

He said that when he was passing through San Francisco airport he was asked by the Immigration Officer why crime was increasing in Tonga.

“I immediately answered that what happened to Peace Corp director Nancy Gehron here in Tonga was just an isolated instance, but not common occurrences,” the Minister said.

“The Officer immediately answered that he did not know anything about that case, and he then stamped my passport and allowed me to move on.

“The point to raise here is that that what happened to the Peace Corps was already circulated around all ports of entries to the USA to watch out for the Tongan! What an unfortunate ripple effect caused by stupidity of few of our people!”

The  main points

  • The Tongan government has set up a sub-committee to investigate crimes against Chinese and other expatriates in Tonga.
  • Justice Minister Sione Vuna Fa’otusia said attacks on foreigners were a grave concern to the government.
  • The subcommittee will be chaired by Hon. Fa’otusia and will also include the Minister of Police, the Commissioner of Police, the Commander of the Tonga Defence Force and the Commissioner of Prisons.
  • “This committee is to see what we can do to mitigate this rather senseless crime against the Chinese and foreigners in the land,” the Minister said.

For more information

Tongan police warn media after photos of bloody and bruised man leaked

 

 

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