TONGA PM VAEA CALLS FOR TOLERANCE AS ANTI-CHINESE ATTACKS INCREASE

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NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (January 28, 1999 - PACNEWS/Radio Tonga)---Tonga's Prime Minister, Baron Vaea, has made a national appeal for tolerance amid mounting concerns over the mistreatment of Chinese nationals in the kingdom.

In a nationwide address over Radio Tonga, Vaea urged Tongans to uphold the values of friendliness and Christianity for which the kingdom is known. And he has reminded the nation that about 200,000 Tongans who have migrated overseas now are protected by the laws of their adopted countries.

Vaea's appeal came after a group of Chinese migrants met the Minister of Police and Immigration, Clive Edwards, and other relevant authorities and petitioned them about the increasing number of crimes being committed against Chinese nationals in Tonga.

However, Radio Tonga reports that despite efforts by the police, the problem continues. In the latest incident, two men robbed a Chinese shop owner off 300 pa‘anga (US$ 187) in Nuku‘alofa on Tuesday night.

Crimes against Tonga's Chinese community have mostly included armed robberies, burglaries and assault, with some Chinese being told to "go back home."

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