Tonga. According to CountryAAH, the total population in Tonga is 105,706 people in 2020. Prince Tu’ipelehake, Member of Parliament and relative of King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV, appealed in January to the Australian Foreign Minister to use his influence to promote democratic reforms in Tonga. In connection with a seminar organized by the opposition movement HRDM (Human Rights and Democracy Movement) in February, the prince emphasized the importance of dialogue between the people and the government. Tu’ipelehake’s statements, unique to a member of the royal house, were adopted on the basis of the 2003 criticized constitutional amendments that restricted freedom of the press and the influence of the judiciary. He must also have appealed to the king to repeal the new laws.
In February, Tonga settled in favor with the King’s oath, the American businessman who in 2001 forged $ 26 million from the country’s treasury. The businessman agreed to pay Tonga $ 1 million. According to abbreviationfinder, TO stands for Tonga in text.
In May, the country’s airlines, which had long been facing major financial problems, were closed. Brunei’s airline had then repossessed the only aircraft Tonga hired for its foreign service. Foreign companies, which already flew on Tonga, later also took over domestic flights. The closure of the airline led to reduced tourist revenue. Opposition HRDM accused the king and his son, Prime Minister Lavaka ‘Ulukalala Ata, of the collapse. Seven of the nine elected MPs boycotted Parliament’s opening at the end of May. They demanded the departure of the prime minister and accused him of wasting millions of dollars when he was chairman of the airline. The boycott was also a protest against the lack of democracy in the country and the opposition discussed various measures to force reforms.
In August, the Prime Minister dismissed three Ministers, among them the Minister of Justice, and replaced them with new ones. No explanation was provided for the measures, but they were assumed to be related to the constitutional amendments. In November, the government surprisingly announced that it planned to reform the political system to allow elected officials to join the government.
TONGA. – The T Islands (or Friends Islands, in English Friendly Islands), which constitute an ancient indigenous kingdom entrusted in 1899 to the protectorate of the United Kingdom, on 4 June 1970 achieved independence, remaining however, as an independent kingdom (sovereign Taufa’ahau Tupon IV, from 1965), within the Commonwealth.
At the 1956 census the population was 56,838 residents, of which 277 Europeans, while at the 1976 census it was 90,128 residents, of which 420 Europeans. The significant increase, which is 59% over the 20 years, occurred mainly in the islands of Tongatapu and Vavau, where over half of the population lives, and in particular in the centers of Nukualofa, Neiafu and Pangaimotu. Nukualofa, the state capital, from 7,000 residents in 1956 increased to over 15,000, taking advantage of its increased administrative functions and assuming, alone among all the centers of the islands, a certain urban physiognomy.
Economic conditions. – Despite some attempts at industrialization, consisting of small plants for processing soil products (processing of coconut fiber in Havelu, near Nukualofa), agriculture and fishing remain the main economic activities. The 1965-70 development plan, half-financed by the UK, sought to expand mainly coconut palm plantations to boost the copra industry. Other main crops, which have benefited from the development plan and from the extension of arable land granted by the crown to applicants over 16 years of age, are cassava (120,000 q in 1977), banana trees (40,000 q), potatoes sweets (790,000 q) and citrus fruits (60,000 q). Breeding is very limited,
The trade balance is in deficit: the value of exports (cover to the United Kingdom, bananas to New Zealand) is equal to just one third of the value of imports (foodstuffs, textiles, capital goods and basic necessities). Four fifths of the foreign exchanges take place through the port of Nukualofa (Tongatapu) and the rest through the port of Neiafu (Vavau).