19 Aug 2005

More vandalism in Tonga - attempt to burn down power company director's house.

5:53 pm on 19 August 2005

Tonga has been hit by more vandalism as fears of escalating tension remain at the start of a fifth week of a public servants' strike.

This week, 15 students were arrested and charged after school property was vandalised in protest at the treatment of staff who had supported the strike.

The incident was followed by the torching of government vehicles outside the Tax and Customs department and the smashing of windows at the ministry of education.

And our correspondent, Mateni Tapueluelu, says there has now been an attempt to burn down the house of the director of the Shoreline Power company.

Shoreline is part-owned by the Crown Prince and there have been protests in the past about the high-price of electricity.

Mateni Tapueluelu says dissastisfaction is spreading.

"It appears that dissatisfaction with government is turning against some of the leaders whether they are government or non-government. The government-facilities and institutions were heavily guarded by police so it appears that the attention now is diverted towards private property."

Mateni Tapueluelu