Kaniva mediawatch: What media around the world are saying about Tonga this week

USP crisis meeting

The full Council of the University of the South Pacific (USP) council will meet next Friday to discuss the crisis enveloping the regional institution.

As reported earlier today by Kaniva News, Tonga has come out in support of suspended Vice Chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia.

The Fiji Times said USP’s  Pro Vice-Chancellor, Winston Thompson, who has led the opposition to Professor  Ahluwalia, said the agenda of the meeting had not been set.

“Some members are overseas and they won’t be able to travel, but they are going to come online,” he said. Fiji Times

Jonah from Tonga removed

In the wake of the Black Lives Mater protests, Netflix has taken down the controversial Australian comedy Jonah from Tonga.

When the programme was first aired on the ABC in 2014 it was described as deeply offensive to Pacific communities.

In the television programme comedian Chris Lilley wore blackface and a curly wig and used a ‘Tongan’ accent  to portray a foul mouthed Tongan schoolboy living in Sydney.

In 2017 the programme was removed from Maori TV.

The then New Zealand’s Minister for Pacific peoples, Alfred Ngaro, said the series “perpetuates negative stereotypes of Pacific people.”

“The fact it is pitched as comedy doesn’t make that any more acceptable.”

Radio Australia/The Guardian

Few details on security office

The Tonga Government plans to spend $US1.9 million dollars on a new security office, but few details have been released.

However, veteran Tongan journalist Kalafi Moala told Radio New Zealand it appeared to be aimed at curbing the leaking of key government information.

The office will work with Tongan police and government agencies in New Zealand and  Australia. Radio New Zealand

Rugby and culture

The story of Mate Ma’a Tonga has been used as the basis of a new children’s book that was released during Tongan language week.

The Rise of To’a was illustrated by former Tonga captain, Sika Manu.

It follows a young Tongan boy, Toko, who is finding out about his cultural identity .

It was written by New Zealand teachers Alisi Tatafu and David Riley. Radio Australia

Taumalolo targeted 

Tongan international Jason Taumalolo was deliberately targeted  during the Cowboys-Warriors game in order to wear him out, Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has revealed.

Tuivasa-Sheck said during Friday night’s game the Warriors ran at him all night.

“So it was important for us to apply pressure to Jason, make him work, make him tackle, because if we can put all of his energy into tackling, that takes away his running game.

“It’s a tough job to do, but I was proud of the boys for getting it done.” Stuff

Swift action 

Geographical isolation and a swift response to the Covid-19 pandemic helped Tonga and other Pacific Island states to stay disease free, according to UNICEF.

Like Tonga, Palau, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have remained disease free.

UNICEF’s Pacific representative, Sheldon Yett, said the Island  nations were quick to ban on inbound flights and ships.

“Island governments could see what was going on in other parts of the world,” Yett said.

“They saw on the TV news the streets of New York or London and they understood what was happening in France and Italy and they understood the risks they faced if the disease got into their communities.” Deutsche Welle

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