- Alastair Reith
The Kingdom of Tonga has announced that it will be appointing a New Zealand policeman to be its new Police Commander. The news was made public on April 2, with the Ministry of Police, Prisons and Fire Services stating that none of the seven Tongan candidates were “suitable”.
Tonga is a repressive feudal monarchy, where almost all wealth and power is concentrated in the hands of a small layer of nobles and the capitalists linked to them.
Only 9 of the 34 members of its House of Representatives are democratically elected, with 16 being appointed directly by the King and another 9 representing “the noble families of the realm”. The Tongan political system has very few differences from that of mediaeval Europe!
Tonga has not had a Police Commander since December 2006, when the people of Tonga, especially in the capital city of Nuku’alofa, rose up against the monarchy after it was announced that the parliament would be dissolved for the year with no changes being made to the nation’s undemocratic political system. In the ensuing rioting, 60% of the downtown area was destroyed, with shops, offices and government offices being specifically targeted. As well as this, 6 people were killed.
Sinilau Kolokihakaufisi, the Police Commander at the time, resigned a few weeks after the uprising.
Australia and New Zealand both sent police to help the Tongan state crush the uprising, with New Zealand sending 45 cops to take part in what the Police have called “the recovery efforts” and “to help investigate crimes committed during the rioting and also to provide support to frontline Police in the Community.”
In other words, to do the Tongan monarchy’s dirty work for it, stamping out the still smouldering sparks of popular unrest and hunting down the people who rose up against their oppressive feudal regime, as well as working to strengthen the police force in Tonga itself and make it capable of crushing any future uprisings.
As the so-called “anti-terror raids” have shown, the New Zealand state and it’s armed thugs, the military and police forces, are very well equipped to give other states a lesson in oppression.
Workers, socialists and progressive people in New Zealand need to oppose all efforts by the New Zealand ruling class to and it’s capitalist state to prop up reactionary regimes, both in the Pacific and around the world, and we must fiercely oppose their efforts to force their neo-colonial will on the people of the Third World.