The 2006 Nukualofa riots
started on 16 November, in the Tongan
capital of Nukualofa
. The Legislative Assembly of Tonga
was due to adjourn for the year and despite promises of action, had done little to advance democracy in the government
. A mixed crowd of democracy advocates took to the streets in protest. Some people in the crowd starting tipping over cars, then progressed to looting and burning buildings.
Targets of riots
Riots broke out around 3:30 pm TOT
as rioters threw stones, broke windows, and looted. By about 6:00 pm, rioters started setting buildings on fire. The first targets of the rioters were government buildings. Then they attacked enterprises, including some that were leased to ANZ Bank
and those owned by the Prime Minister Feleti Sevele
A private shop selling mobile telephones and advertising for Tonfön
(part of the Shoreline Group of Companies owned, at the time, by the royal family) was next. Rioters also attacked and burned the main office of the Shoreline Group of Companies, which was located one kilometer away from the small central business district.
Several of the larger Chinese shops were targeted for looting and burning. Other shops, including one owned by ethnic Indians, were burned as well, but it is not clear if they were intentionally set on fire or caught fire from surrounding buildings.
At about 6:00 PM TOT rioters torched the Royal Pacific hotel (owned by the Shoreline Group of Companies). The hotel was located on one of the main roads into... Read More