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Tonga

1918 Jul 4
Taufa’ahau Tupou IV, king of Tonga (1965-2006), was born.
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1965 Dec 16
Taufa’ahau Tupou IV (1918-2006) became king of Tonga following the death of his mother Queen Salote Tupou III.
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1970
The South Pacific islands of Tonga gained independence from Britain.
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1971
Australia joined with New Zealand and 14 independent of self-governing island nations to form the South Pacific Forum. The name was changed in 2000 to Pacific Islands Forum. Member states include: Australia, the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Since 2006, associate members territories are New Caledonia and French Polynesia.
Links: Australia, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Solomons, Samoa, Fiji, Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, Kiribati, Niue, Palau, Tonga, Tuvalu     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1971
Michael Oliver, a Las Vegas-based libertarian activist, created the Republic of Minerva by dumping sand on the Minerva Reefs 310 miles southwest of Tonga. He proclaimed independence in 1972, but Tonga annexed the place and it soon sank.
Links: Nevada, Tonga     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1997 Jun 6
Eric Lyons and Eric Gullichsen went live with an automated web site that allowed people to register Web sites with the .to domain, the country-code letters of Tonga.
Links: Internet, Tonga     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Dec 27
In Tonga Cyclone Cora hit the islands and destroyed all the banana trees.
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2003 Aug 14
The 16-member Pacific Islands Forum (Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) planned to create a region-wide aviation market aimed at encouraging tourism.
Links: Australia, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Solomons, Samoa, Fiji, Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, Kiribati, Palau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Nieu     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004
Tonga’s King Tupou IV (1918-2006) announced that he would henceforth include people's representatives in the 12-member appointed cabinet.
Links: Tonga     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005
In Tonga popularly elected politicians joined the royal government for the 1st time.
Links: Tonga     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2006 Mar 31
In Tonga Dr. Fred Sevele agreed to serve as PM, making him the first commoner to lead the government in living memory.
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2006 Jul 5
Prince Tu'ipelehake (56), a Tongan prince known for promoting political reform in his South Pacific island nation, died in a car crash along with his wife, Princess Kaimana (46) and driver Vinisia Hefa when a teenage driver, Edith Delgado (18), slammed into them on Highway 101 in Menlo Park, Ca. In 2007 Delgado was sentenced to 2 years in jail and 3 years probation.
Links: USA, SF Bay Area, Tonga     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Sep 10
Taufa’ahau Tupou IV (b.1918), King of Tonga, died in New Zealand. He was the son of Queen Salote Tupou III and her consort Prince Tungi, and served as the King of Tonga from the death of his mother in 1965.
Links: New Zealand, Tonga     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Nov 16
In Tonga youths infuriated by a lack of political reform attacked the prime minister's offices and other government buildings, smashing windows, looting shops and setting fires in Nuku’alofa, the capital of this near-feudal South Pacific kingdom. 8 people were killed and some four-fifths of the commercial district was destroyed.
Links: Tonga, Mad Crowd     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Nov 18
Soldiers and police from New Zealand arrived in the Tongan capital to help restore order after mobs demanding democratic reforms destroyed much of the capital in unprecedented rioting that left at least eight people dead.
Links: New Zealand, Tonga     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
2006 Dec 14
Tonga police said they have arrested more than 700 people in connection with a deadly riot that destroyed most of Tonga's capital in November.
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2008 Apr 24
Elections were held in Tonga as part of its transition to full democracy. The population numbered about 108,000.
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2008 May
Pacific Island nations imposed a series of measures aimed at halting overfishing. 8 of 17 members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission agreed on the measures In December the 9 remaining members joined in imposing a conservation agenda on 20 million square miles to take effect on January 1, 2010. The 17 members included Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.
Links: Australia, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Solomons, Samoa, Fiji, Fish, Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, Kiribati, Niue, Palau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Tokelau     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2008 Jul 29
Tonga’s King George Tupou V announced he was ceding most of his executive powers to the democratically elected parliament.
Links: Tonga     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2008 Aug 1
King George Tupou V was crowned King of Tonga. His elaborate 5-day coronation cost some $2.5 million.

Links: Tonga     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2009 Aug 6
Rescue workers searched for missing people after the Princess Ashika ferry, carrying 149 passengers and crew, sank overnight off the coast of Tonga. 93 people were missing and feared dead.
Links: Tragedy, Ship, Tonga     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2009 Sep 29
A magnitude 8.0-8.3 earthquake struck about 120 miles south of the islands of Samoa, population about 180,000 people, and American Samoa, a US territory of 65,000. Four tsunami waves 15 to 20 feet (4 to 6 meters) high roared ashore on American Samoa, reaching up to a mile (1.5km) inland. At least 142 were killed in Samoa and at least 32 on American Samoa and leaving dozens missing. Authorities in Tonga, south of the Samoas, confirmed at least 9 dead.
Links: Earthquake, Samoa, Tonga, Amer. Samoa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2009 Nov
In Tonga Supreme Court judge Robert Shuster sentenced 2 boys, who had escaped from prison and stolen food, to 13 years in prison and six lashes from a "cat-o-nine-tails" whip at a hearing that only just come to light in February 2010. The 2 teenagers appealed a court ruling ordering them to be whipped, with supporters calling the punishment inhumane and a form of torture.
Links: Tonga, Teens Amuck     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2010 Feb 15
Cyclone Rene battered Tonga with powerful winds, cutting phone links, ripping off roofs and downing power lines in the South Pacific island nation.
Links: Tonga     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2010 Oct
Roko Tevita Uluilakeb Mara, the commander of Fiji’s biggest regiment, was suspended and soon fled to Tonga. Mara was the youngest son of founding father Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara. From Tonga he denounced the Fiji government and called for regime change.
Links: Fiji, Tonga     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2010 Dec 21
In Tonga Noble Lord Tu’ivakano won a secret ballot among lawmakers to become the country’s first prime minister elected by parliament rather than appointed by King George Tupou V.
Links: Tonga     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2011 Oct 21
A 7.6 earthquake struck off the coast of Tonga, but there were not immediate reports of damage or injuries.
Links: Earthquake, Tonga     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2012 Mar 18
The king of Tonga George Tupou V (63), who brought democracy to the impoverished South Pacific island nation, died in Hong Kong. Next in line was his younger brother, Crown Prince Tupouto’a Lavaka Ata.
Links: Tonga     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2013 Nov 7
China’s Vice Premier Wang Yang said China will provide a concessionary loan of up to $1 billion to Pacific island nations to support construction projects in a part of the world where Beijing and Taiwan compete for influence. He made the announcement at a forum with Pacific island nations in Guangzhou at a meeting attended by representatives from Micronesia, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Niue and Fiji.
Links: China, Samoa, Fiji, Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, Niue, Tonga     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2014 Jan 11
Tonga declared a state of emergency in some parts as powerful Cyclone Ian slammed into the South Pacific island nation. At least one person was killed.
Links: Tonga, Hurricane     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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