18 Feb 2011

Opposition says basis for imposing Public Order regulations in Tuvalu fabricated

8:04 am on 18 February 2011

A spokesperson for Tuvalu's opposition says the reasons given by the government for invoking the Public Order Act last month are an absolute fabrication.

Public gatherings were banned following a protest march by people from Nukufetau who were demanding the immediate resignation of one of their MPs, the finance minister Lotoala Metia.

The ban's now been lifted but the Prime Minister Willie Telavi says police are still investigating the march, which the government deemed illegal, along with accompanying threats made about removing Mr Metia.

But Monise Laafai says the government's twisted the information to support a show of force.

"They could have considered closer dialogue with the community to fully understand what is happening and what their real intentions are and that sort of thing. And the orders were unnecessarily heavy-handed and pointless. There was no real threat on the ground. It's an absolute fabrication."