TUVALU PUBLIC GATHERING BAN PROMPTED BY THREATS
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 27, 2011) – The prime minister of Tuvalu says his government activated the public order act because of fears that houses belonging members of parliament would be burnt down.
Under the act gatherings of more than ten people have been banned on the main island of Funafuti for the past two weeks.
Willie Telavi says his government acted because of threats made in a letter sent to finance minister Lotoala Metia by his constituents in Nukufetau.
The prime minister says the constituents had issued Mr Metia an ultimatum he resign immediately and said they’d do everything within their power to remove him if he didn’t comply.
Mr Telavi, a former police commissioner in Tuvalu, says there were rumours circulating that the group planned to burn down buildings.
"Rumours that came about that they would burn down the Speaker’s house and the MP’s [Mr Metia] house."
The government has spent much of today considering whether or not to roll over the regulations but no decision has yet been made public.
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