Democrat supporters warn Tapueluelu after he posts online comments ahead of Monday’s protests against visit by PM Tu‘i‘onetoa

    Kuo 'oatu ha fakatokanga mei he kau poupou PTOA kia Kelekolio Tapueluelu pe ko Sione Tosi Vaiangina 'oku 'ikai ke nau fiema'u ke ne kaunoa he'enau fakahā loto melino 'oku teuaki ki he Mōnite ki he 'Eiki Palēmia 'o Tonga 'i Nuu Sila'. Ko e hili eni hano tuku mai 'e he kēnolo' ha'ane vitiō ''aneafi o pehē ne toki tū'uta mai mei Tonga he uike' ni ki Nu'u Sila ke talitali e kau fakahāloto'. Ne 'ohofi foki 'o taa'i 'a Tapueluelu 'o lavea 'i Tonga 'i he 2017 'e ha kau poupou PTOA hili 'ene lea 'o fakafepaki'i 'a 'Akilisi Pōhiva lolotonga ha konifelenisi mo e kau faiongoongo' 'i Nuku'alofa.

    Protesters who are expected to take to the streets in South Auckland to demonstrate against Prime Minister Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa next week have sent a strong message to controversial figure Kelekolio Tapueluelu, warning him to avoid interfering in their protests.

    The warnings came after Tapueluelu released a short live Facebook video clip  attacking the demonstrators.

    The retired policeman and undercover officer, a staunch supporter of conservative politicians, said in Tongan he had just arrived from Tonga to meet the protesters.

    He warned that he wanted to meet with the person who made the online threats against Hon. Tu’i’onetoa last month.

    But  Tapueluelu, who is also known as Kēnolo (the Colonel)  said the person, who he referred to as ‘Moana,’ has done this twice to him, but did not explain what he meant.

    Tapueluelu’s online comments provoked strong reactions on internet from the PTOA supporters, with many warning that he would face the consequences if he tried to intervene without being invited.

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    The organisers said the demonstrations would be peaceful and they had contacted police and Auckland council about their planned action.

    The protests are organised by the supporters and activists of Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands in New Zealand, widely known as PTOA.

    PTOA spokesperson Lihai Lui told Kaniva news he has responded to Tapueluelu’s comments and warned him to keep away from them.  

    He said the group held a meeting in Māngere yesterday as part of the preparation for the demonstrations and the turnout was encouraging.

    He said a number of church ministers have attended the meeting.

    The organisers said New Zealand was a democracy and allowed them to exercise their freedom and rights to protest.

    The protesters said they wanted to show Hon. Tu’i’onetoa they were disappointed that he had  been elected to the Tongan Parliament as a PTOA candidate, but then crossed the floor after Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva died.

    He and others who crossed the floor sided with the nobility and independent MPs to take control of the government from the Democrats.

    Tapueluelu assaulted in 2017

    In 2017 Tapueluelu was attacked after he threatened Hon. Pōhiva during a press conference in Nuku’alofa.

    As Kaniva news reported at the time, Tapueluelu told Hon. Pohiva during the press conference he intended to disturb “fakahoha’asi” him until he changed his mind and reinstated the 2019 Pacific Games which Tonga had been going to host.

    He told Hon. Pohiva he was ready to die as long as he achieved his mission.

    Following his statements, some PTOA supporters went looking for Tapueluelu and when they found him an attack ensued. Tapueluelu was reportedly injured during the attack.

    Two men were arrested and charged with assault. The charges were later dropped after Tapueluelu left for New Zealand and did not return for the court hearing.

    As Kaniva news reported in January this year, Tapueluelu alleged he had been assaulted  during a party in Papatoetoe.

    Tapueluelu, who appeared in bloodied clothes and hands in a video clip, said he wanted to help a friend but another person in the party confronted him.

    Complaint

    Last  month chair of the Tonga Advisory Council in Auckland, Melino Maska, laid a complaint with police following threats to kill PM Tu’i’onetoa.

    Maka said he took the action after being approached  by angry members of the Tongan community.

    He told Radio New Zealand there had been bitter criticism at the Prime Minister and one of his advisers, Etuate Lavulavu.

    Following an investigation, New Zealand Police said they concluded the person who made death threats against Tonga’s Prime Minister meant no harm.

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