After the Riots
As ‘Atenisi Institute aspires and endures, despite its few resources, a national political crisis unfurls in Tonga in late 2006. As the government fails to take decisive action towards democratic reform, a frustration fuelled riot breaks out on the streets of Nuku’alofa. As a result, 60% of the capital’s central business district is destroyed by fire. The new King George V eventually accedes to democratic demand before staging a lavish coronation with gilted thrones and historical European costumes. The Tongan people have a fierce pride in an historic monarchy that helped to avert colonisation by Europe but these days, the monarchy seems unable to protect them from relentless global social and economic forces.