AUCKLAND WOMAN KILLED FOR WEARING TONGA

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Witness says drunken Samoans assaulted woman on street

By Laura Speranza/ Daily Telegraph AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Taimi o Tonga, March 14, 2011) - Friends of a woman killed in a late-night street brawl claim she was targeted because she was wearing a T-shirt bearing a Tongan flag.

Wiley Park woman Iasinita Paraha, 22, was attacked while walking home with friends from the Tongan community after a night out drinking at Bankstown Hotel. With her at the time was her long-time friend, Sosaia Vaivaka, 23, who yesterday told The Sunday Telegraph he and Ms Paraha were ambushed by up to 20 intoxicated Samoan men and women.

"They yelled out something about Tonga. She was wearing a T-shirt with a Tongan flag on it. And then before we knew it, they crossed the street and were bashing into us," Mr. Vaivaka said.

He said he and Paraha were separated in the brawl and when he next saw Paraha she was lying on the ground unconscious. Vaivaka said he believed his friend was already dead within moments of the attack.

Police found a woman performing CPR on Paraha, who was rushed to Bankstown Hospital, but pronounced dead a short time later. Police are investigating her death, and an autopsy will be carried out to determine the cause of Paraha’s death.

Vaivaka said he and Paraha had left the Marion St hotel when it closed around 3 a.m. They stopped at a 7/11 across the road for a pie before continuing to walk home along North Tce. They had walked less than 100 meters when the fight broke out. Nicknamed Ice, Paraha lived with friends at Wiley Park and worked as a Labour Force process worker in Smithfield.

Vaivaka said his friend of eight years was "a lovely person."

"I can’t believe she’s gone," he said. "She didn’t even want to go out that night, but I convinced her to come out for just a few drinks."

Detective Chief Inspector Glen Fitzgerald, of Bankstown local area command, said police were appealing for witnesses or anyone involved in the brawl to come forward.

http://www.planet-tonga.com/tongatimes

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