26 May 2005

Estimated 8,000 march against electricity charges in Tonga

1:36 pm on 26 May 2005

A large crowd has gathered outside Tonga's Palace Office to present a petition against Shoreline Power Limited over high electricity charges.

The Democracy Movement organised the march, calling for the power supply to be taken from the Shoreline company which is partly owned by the Crown Prince.

The protest has gone ahead despite concerns over the safety of secondary school students holding a traditional march in the same area.

Our correspondent, Mateni Tapueluelu, says an estimated 8,000 people have joined the march

"We have settled in the field just before the Palace but the march is still not yet within the field, there's still more people to come. In fact they're singing on the road as they enter the palace field. It has been peaceful so far. I see a noble, the secretary to his cabinet enter just now, to receive the petition from the people's representatives."

Mateni Tapueluelu