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Read up on the Tuvaluan reactions to the Public Order Act
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Hearing delayed in Tuvalu march ban challenge
Posted at 01:40 on 19 January, 2011 UTC

A senior magistrate court hearing in Tuvalu challenging the legality of the public order act has been adjourned until later this afternoon.

Last week, the government ordered that no large public gatherings can be held on the main island of Funafuti for at least two weeks after a mass protest march was held.

An opposition politician, Enele Sopoaga, says the reason given by Senior Magistrate, Afele Kitiona, for this morning’s adjournment was unexpected.

“Basically to, I think, still on the procedural question, on whether his court had any jurisdiction over the matter. I mean this is, of course, very very surprising given that he invited parties to his court, and then he’s now asking himself can his court can deal with the matter? Which is rather odd, but we are trying to co-operate.”

Enele Sopoaga says he supports the legal challenge, saying there is no justification for the public act being imposed.

Tuvalu magistrate dismisses challenge to public meeting ban
Posted at 05:37 on 19 January, 2011 UTC

The magistrate court in Tuvalu has dismissed a bid by some village leaders to overturn the public order act which the government invoked to ban public gatherings.

The order was issued after a protest march last week.

An opposition politician, Enele Sopoaga, says it’s unfortunate that the court declined to rule or pass the case for consideration to the High Court.

“[For] the people of Tuvalu, there is no process for them whatsoever to seek recourse to their concerns. The dialogue process being gagged by the orders, gathering of traditional leaders and communities have been stopped. Free movement of people around town, the main town of Funafuti, had been stoppped and expressions of any kind had been stopped, the whole public has been gagged by this government.”

Tuvalu politician deplores Funafuti public meeting ban
Posted at 18:10 on 19 January, 2011 UTC

A Tuvalu politician, Enele Sopoaga, says it’s unfortunate that the magistrate court has declined to rule on whether the public order act should be enforced.

After a protest last week, the ban on public gathering in the capital was invoked by the government.
Mr Sopoaga says yesterday’s court decision to throw out the villagers’ complaint has left them without a way of addressing their concerns.

“The whole country is at the mercy of these eight people forming the government, and since all the freedoms, the fundamental freedoms, of the people have been pushed aside by these orders, we are actually moving into some sort of dictatorship or autocratic type of government. This is most unfortunate and has never happened in the history of Tuvalu.”

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