Tonga. In February, the powerful tropical cyclone Gita swept across Tonga with wind speeds exceeding 55 meters per second. Many people got rid of both electricity and access to water and a large number of houses were totally destroyed, including the parliament building. According to Countryaah.com, Nuku’alofa is the capital city of Tonga, a country located in Polynesia. The country’s agriculture was also hit hard. The critical situation prompted Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva to announce a one-month state of emergency, which was then further extended.
In March, the country’s education ministry caused a scream when, in an official letter to Tonga High School, the school’s staff informed them of the inadequacy of letting girls play rugby and boxing. Such sports activities were considered contrary to the dignity of young women and Tonga’s culture and traditions. A few days later, Prime Minister Pohiva made a statement saying that the letter was not an expression of the government’s official policy and that the government urged all Tongan students to freely practice all sports.
In June, Laki Niu was sworn in as a new judge in the Supreme Court (HD). Justice Minister Vuna Fa’otusia expressed his satisfaction that a Tongan was placed in HD for the first time in over 100 years. The other two judges were from New Zealand at the time, but Fa’otusia hoped that all members of the Supreme Court would be Tongans within two years and that in the future negotiations could be held in the Tonga language instead of English.
In October, the country got its first university with Tongan principal, Christ’s University, which is owned by the Tokaikolo Church. The university, which had around 50 students at the time, offers courses in computer science, pedagogy, theology, business administration and, from 2019, also law.