TONGANS STILL WAITING FOR IMPOUNDED NEWSPAPER

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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, May 30) - Readers of the
formerly banned Times of Tonga will have to wait until next week for copies of
the newspaper.

Several thousand copies were impounded on Tuesday by Customs
officers at the airport, despite a Supreme Court order.

The court this week overturned four earlier government bans and
issued an injunction on a fifth by the Privy Council, which would have seen the
New Zealand-published newspaper distributed after a three month hiatus.

But Editor Mateni Tapueluelu said he has been told copies of a
government gazette officially ordering the release of the newspaper, did not
reach the Customs Minister by the close of business.

He said the government had ample time to ensure the orders
arrived.

"It is not good enough; the decision has been made for some
time now," Tapueluelu said.

"As far as I am aware, there were gazettes that the
government cooked up so quickly to prevent the distribution of the Taimi, which
were so fast. I don't see that pace in this government gazette to release the
Taimi."

June 2, 2003

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra 

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