2 Jun 2003

Times of Tonga newspaper still not on news stands in the country

10:33 am on 2 June 2003

The Taimi O Tonga newspaper has still not been released within Tonga despite the government accepting that it should be.

The International Federation of Journalists has sent a letter of protest to Prime Minister.

Custom officers ay they have still not received instructions from the government allowing them to release the papers, which are printed in New Zealand, for distribution.

Radio Australia says the editor, Mateni Tapu'eluelu has been told that copies of a government gazette officially ordering the release of the paper, did not reach the Customs minister by of the close of business.

Mr Tapu'eluelu isn't happy with the delay as the paper arrived in the country last Tuesday.

He says the government had ample time to ensure the orders arrived.

The Taimi O Tonga paper has been subjected to a series of government bans which were overturned by Supreme court orders.