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Coordinates: 20°S 175°W / 20°S 175°W / -20; -175

Kingdom of Tonga Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga
Tonga
(Tongan)

Flag

Coat of arms

Motto: "Ko e ʻOtua mo Tonga
Tonga
ko hoku tofiʻa" "God and Tonga
Tonga
are my Inheritance"

Anthem: Ko e fasi ʻo e tuʻi ʻo e ʻOtu Tonga The Song of the King of the Tongan Islands

Capital and largest city Nukuʻalofa 21°08′S 175°12′W / 21.133°S 175.200°W / -21.133; -175.200

Official languages

Tongan English

Ethnic groups (2016[1])

96.6% Tongan 1.7% Euronesians 1.0% European 1.0% East Asian

Religion Free Wesleyan Church
Free Wesleyan Church
of Tonga[2]

Demonym Tongan

Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy

• Monarch

Tupou VI

• Prime Minister

ʻAkilisi Pōhiva

• Assembly Speaker

Lord Tu'ivakano

Legislature Legislative Assembly

Independence

• from British protection

4 June 1970

Area

• Total

748 km2 (289 sq mi) (175th)

• Water (%)

4.0

Population

• 2011 census

103,036[3]

• Density

139/km2 (360.0/sq mi) (76tha)

GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate

• Total

$763 million[4]

• Per capita

$7,344[4]

GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate

• Total

$439 million[4]

• Per capita

$4,220[4]

HDI (2014)  0.717[5] high · 100th

Currency Paʻanga (TOP)

Time zone (UTC+13)

Drives on the left

Calling code +676

ISO 3166 code TO

Internet TLD .to

Based on 2005 figures.

Tonga
Tonga
(/ˈtɒŋə/ or /ˈtɒŋɡə/; Tongan: [ˈtoŋa][6] Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), officially the Kingdom of Tonga, is a Polynesian sovereign state and archipelago comprising 169 islands, of which 36 are inhabited.[1] The total surface area is about 750 square kilometres (290 sq mi) scattered over 700,000 square kilometres (270,000 sq mi) of the southern Pacific Ocean. It has a population of 107,122 people,[7] of whom 70% reside on the main island of Tongatapu. Tonga
Tonga
stretches across approximately 800 kilometres (500 mi) in a north-south line. It is surrounded by Fiji
Fiji
and Wallis and Futuna (France) to the northwest, Samoa
Samoa
to the northeast, Niue
Niue
to the east, Kermadec (part of New Zealand) to the southwest, and New Caledonia (France) and Vanuatu
Vanuatu
to the farther west. Tonga
Tonga
became known in the West as the "Friendly Islands" because of the congenial reception accorded to Captain James Cook
James Cook
on his first visit in 1773. He arrived at the time of the ʻinasi festival, the yearly donation of the First Fruits
First Fruits
to the Tuʻi Tonga
Tuʻi Tonga
(the islands' paramount chief) and so received an invitation to the festivities. According to the writer William Mariner, the chiefs wanted to kill Cook during the gathering but could not agree on a plan.[8] From 1900 to 1970, Tonga
Tonga
had British protected state status, with the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
looking after its foreign affairs under a Treaty of Friendship. The country never relinquished its sovereignty to any foreign power.[9] In 2010, Tonga
Tonga
took a decisive path towards becoming a constitutional monarchy rather than a traditional absolute kingdom, after legislative reforms passed a course for the first partial representative elections.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 History 3 Politics

3.1 Political culture 3.2 Foreign relations 3.3 Military 3.4 Administrative divisions

4 Geography

4.1 Climate 4.2 Ecology

5 Economy

5.1 Agriculture 5.2 Energy

6 Demographics

6.1 Ethnic groups 6.2 Languages 6.3 Religion 6.4 Health 6.5 Education

7 Culture

7.1 Sport

7.1.1 Rugby 7.1.2 Olympics

7.2 Media

8 See also 9 References 10 Further reading 11 External links

Etymology[edit] In many Polynesian languages, including Tongan, the word tonga means "south", as the archipelago is the southernmost group of the islands of central Polynesia.[citation needed] The word tonga is cognate to the Hawaiian region of Kona, meaning leeward in the Hawaiian language.[10] History[edit]

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Main article: History of Tonga

The arrival of Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman
in Tongatapu, 1643; drawing by Isaack Gilsemans

Page from the ship's log of Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman
with the description of t' Eijlandt Amsterdam, nowadays Tongatapu[11]

An Austronesian-speaking group linked to the archaeological construct known as the Lapita
Lapita
cultural complex reached and inhabited Tonga around 1500–1000 BC.[12] Scholars have much debated the exact dates of the initial settlement of Tonga, but recently it has been thought that the first settlers came to the oldest town, Nukuleka, about 826 BC, ± 8 years.[13] Not much is known before European contact because of the lack of a writing system, but oral history has survived and been recorded after the arrival of the Europeans. By the 12th century, Tongans
Tongans
and the Tongan paramount chief, the Tuʻi Tonga, had a reputation across the central Pacific—from Niue, Samoa, Rotuma, Wallis & Futuna, New Caledonia
New Caledonia
to Tikopia—leading some historians to speak of a Tuʻi Tonga
Tuʻi Tonga
Empire. In the 15th century and again in the 17th, civil war erupted.

William Mariner was a teenage English sailor adopted into a royal Tongan family.

The Tongan people
Tongan people
first encountered Europeans in 1616 when the Dutch vessel Eendracht, captained by Willem Schouten, made a short visit to trade. Later came other Dutch explorers, including Jacob Le Maire
Jacob Le Maire
(who called on the northern island of Niuatoputapu); and in 1643 Abel Tasman (who visited Tongatapu
Tongatapu
and Haʻapai). Later noteworthy European visitors included James Cook
James Cook
(Royal Navy) in 1773, 1774, and 1777; Alessandro Malaspina
Alessandro Malaspina
(Spanish Navy) in 1793; the first London missionaries in 1797; and the Wesleyan Methodist
Methodist
Reverend Walter Lawry in 1822. The US Exploring Expedition
US Exploring Expedition
visited in 1840.[14] In 1845, the ambitious young warrior, strategist, and orator Tāufaʻāhau
Tāufaʻāhau
united Tonga
Tonga
into a kingdom. He held the chiefly title of Tuʻi Kanokupolu, but had been baptised by Methodist
Methodist
missionaries with the name Siaosi ("George") in 1831. In 1875, with the help of missionary Shirley Waldemar Baker, he declared Tonga
Tonga
a constitutional monarchy; formally adopted the western royal style; emancipated the "serfs"; enshrined a code of law, land tenure, and freedom of the press; and limited the power of the chiefs. Tonga
Tonga
became a protected state under a Treaty of Friendship with Britain on 18 May 1900, when European settlers and rival Tongan chiefs tried to oust the second king. The treaty posted no higher permanent representative on Tonga
Tonga
than a British Consul (1901–1970). Under the protection of Britain, Tonga
Tonga
maintained its sovereignty, and remained the only Pacific nation to retain its monarchical government (unlike Tahiti and Hawaiʻi). The Tongan monarchy follows an uninterrupted succession of hereditary rulers from one family.[citation needed] The 1918 flu pandemic, brought to Tonga
Tonga
by a ship from New Zealand, killed 1,800 Tongans, reflecting a mortality rate of about eight per cent.[15] The Treaty of Friendship and Tonga's protection status ended in 1970 under arrangements established by Queen Salote Tupou III
Salote Tupou III
prior to her death in 1965. Tonga
Tonga
joined the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
in 1970 (atypically as a country with its own monarch rather than that of the United Kingdom, similar to Malaysia, Lesotho, and Swaziland), and became a member of the United Nations
United Nations
in September 1999. While exposed to colonial pressures, Tonga
Tonga
has always governed itself, which makes it unique in the Pacific. As part of cost-cutting measures across the British Foreign Service, the British Government closed the British High Commission
British High Commission
in Nukuʻalofa
Nukuʻalofa
in March 2006, transferring representation of British interests to the High Commissioner in Fiji. The last resident British High Commissioner was Paul Nessling.[16] Politics[edit] Main article: Politics of Tonga

King George, of the Friendly Islands (1852)[17]

Tonga
Tonga
is a constitutional monarchy. Reverence for the monarch replaces that held in earlier centuries for the sacred paramount chief, the Tuʻi Tonga. Criticism of the monarch is held to be contrary to Tongan culture and etiquette. King Tupou VI
Tupou VI
(a descendant of the first monarch), his family, powerful nobles and a growing non-royal elite caste live in much wealth, with the rest of the country living in relative poverty. The effects of this disparity are mitigated by education, medicine, and land tenure. Tonga
Tonga
provides for its citizens a free and mandatory education for all, secondary education with only nominal fees, and foreign-funded scholarships for post-secondary education.

Tāufaʻāhau, King of Tonga
Tonga
(1845–1893)

The pro-democracy movement in Tonga
Tonga
promotes reforms, including better representation in the Parliament for the majority commoners, and better accountability in matters of state. An overthrow of the monarchy is not part of the movement and the institution of monarchy continues to hold popular support, even while reforms are advocated. Until recently, the governance issue was generally ignored by the leaders of other countries, but major aid donors and neighbours New Zealand and Australia
Australia
are now expressing concerns about some Tongan government actions. Following the precedents of Queen Sālote and the counsel of numerous international advisors,[who?] the government of Tonga
Tonga
under King Tāufaʻāhau
Tāufaʻāhau
Tupou IV (reigned 1965–2006) monetised the economy, internationalised the medical and education system, and enabled access by commoners to increasing forms of material wealth (houses, cars, and other commodities), education, and overseas travel. Tongans
Tongans
have universal access to a national health care system. The Constitution of Tonga
Constitution of Tonga
protects land ownership: land cannot be sold to foreigners (although it may be leased[18]). While there is a land shortage on the urbanised main island of Tongatapu
Tongatapu
(where 70% of the population resides), there is farmland available in the outlying islands. The majority of the population engages in some form of subsistence production of food, with approximately half producing almost all of their basic food needs through farming, sea harvesting, and animal husbandry. Women and men have equal access to education and health care and are fairly equal in employment, but women are discriminated against in land holding, electoral politics, and government ministries. Political culture[edit]

King George Tupou V
King George Tupou V
during his coronation on 2 August 2008

The previous king, Tāufaʻāhau
Tāufaʻāhau
Tupou IV, and his government made some problematic economic decisions and were accused[by whom?] of wasting millions of dollars on unwise investments. The problems have mostly been driven by attempts to increase national revenue through a variety of schemes: considering making Tonga
Tonga
a nuclear waste disposal site (an idea floated in the mid 1990s by the current crown prince);[19] and selling Tongan Protected Persons Passports (which eventually forced Tonga
Tonga
to naturalise the purchasers, sparking ethnicity-based concerns within Tonga).[20] Schemes also included the registering foreign ships (which proved to be engaged in illegal activities, including shipments for al-Qaeda);[21] claiming geo-orbital satellite slots (the revenue from which seems to belong to the Princess Royal, not the state);[22] holding a long-term charter on an unusable Boeing 757
Boeing 757
that was sidelined in Auckland
Auckland
Airport, leading to the collapse of Royal Tongan Airlines;[23] and approving a factory for exporting cigarettes to China
China
(against the advice of Tongan medical officials, and decades of health promotion messaging).[24] The king proved vulnerable to speculators with big promises and lost reportedly US$26 million to Jesse Bogdonoff, a financial adviser who called himself the king's Court Jester. The police imprisoned pro-democracy leaders, and the government repeatedly confiscated the newspaper The Tongan Times (printed in New Zealand
New Zealand
and sold in Tonga) because the editor had been vocally critical of the king's mistakes.[25] Notably, the Keleʻa, produced specifically to critique the government and printed in Tonga
Tonga
by pro-democracy leader ʻAkilisi Pōhiva, was not banned during that time. Pōhiva, however, had been subjected to harassment in the form of barratry (frequent lawsuits).[26] In mid-2003, the government passed a radical constitutional amendment to "Tonganize" the press, by licensing and limiting freedom of the press, so as to protect the image of the monarchy. The amendment was defended by the government and by royalists on the basis of traditional cultural values. Licensure criteria include 80% ownership by Tongans
Tongans
living in the country. As of February 2004[update], those papers denied licenses under the new act included the Taimi ʻo Tonga
Tonga
(Tongan Times), the Keleʻa, and the Matangi Tonga—while those permitted licenses were uniformly church-based or pro-government.

The Royal palace of Tonga

The bill was opposed in the form of a several-thousand-strong protest march in the capital, a call by the Tuʻi Pelehake (a prince, nephew of the king and elected member of parliament) for Australia
Australia
and other nations to pressure the Tongan government to democratise the electoral system, and a legal writ calling for a judicial investigation of the bill. The latter was supported by some 160 signatures, including seven of the nine elected, "People's Representatives". The then Crown Prince Tupoutoʻa and Pilolevu, the Princess Royal, remained generally silent on the issue. In total, the changes threatened to destabilise the polity, fragment support for the status quo, and place further pressure on the monarchy. In 2005, the government spent several weeks negotiating with striking civil-service workers before reaching a settlement. The civil unrest that ensued was not limited to Tonga; protests outside the King's New Zealand residence made headlines. Prime Minister Prince ʻAhoʻeitu ʻUnuakiʻotonga Tukuʻaho (Lavaka Ata ʻUlukālala) (now King Tupou VI) resigned suddenly on 11 February 2006, and also gave up his other cabinet portfolios. The elected Minister of Labour, Dr Feleti Sevele, replaced him in the interim. On 5 July 2006, a driver in Menlo Park, California
Menlo Park, California
caused the deaths of Prince Tuʻipelehake ʻUluvalu, his wife, and their driver. Tuʻipelehake, 55, was the co-chairman of the constitutional reform commission, and a nephew of the King.

Riots in Nukuʻalofa, 2006

The public expected some changes when George Tupou V
George Tupou V
succeeded his father in September 2006. On 16 November 2006, rioting broke out in the capital city of Nukuʻalofa
Nukuʻalofa
when it seemed that the parliament would adjourn for the year without having made any advances in increasing democracy in government. Pro-democracy activists burned and looted shops, offices, and government buildings. As a result, more than 60% of the downtown area was destroyed, and as many as 6 people died.[27] The disturbances were ended by action from Tongan Security Forces and troops from New Zealand-led Joint Task Force.[28] On 29 July 2008, the Palace announced that King George Tupou V
King George Tupou V
would relinquish much of his power and would surrender his role in day-to-day governmental affairs to the Prime Minister. The royal chamberlain said that this was being done to prepare the monarchy for 2010, when most of the first parliament will be elected, and added: "The Sovereign of the only Polynesian kingdom... is voluntarily surrendering his powers to meet the democratic aspirations of many of his people." The previous week, the government said the king had sold state assets that had contributed to much of the royal family's wealth.[29] On 15 March 2012, King George Tupou V
King George Tupou V
contracted pneumonia and was brought to Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong. He was later diagnosed with leukaemia. His health deteriorated significantly shortly thereafter, and he died at 3:15 pm on 18 March 2012. [30] He was succeeded by his brother Tupou VI, who was crowned[31] on 4 July 2015. Foreign relations[edit] Further information: Foreign relations of Tonga Tonga's foreign policy as of January 2009[update] has been described by Matangi Tonga as "Look East"—specifically, as establishing closer diplomatic and economic relations with Asia
Asia
(which actually lies to the north-west of the Pacific kingdom). Tonga
Tonga
retains cordial relations with the United States. Although it remains on good terms with the United Kingdom, the two countries do not maintain particularly close relations, and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
closed its High Commission in Tonga
Tonga
in 2006. Tonga's relations with Oceania's regional powers, Australia
Australia
and New Zealand, are good.[32] Tonga
Tonga
maintains strong regional ties in the Pacific. It is a full member of the Pacific Islands Forum, the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, the South Pacific Tourism Organisation, the Pacific Regional Environment Programme
Pacific Regional Environment Programme
and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. Military[edit] Main article: Tonga
Tonga
Defence Services The Tongan government supported the American "coalition of the willing" action in Iraq
Iraq
and deployed 40+ soldiers (as part of an American force) in late 2004. The contingent returned home on 17 December 2004.[33] In 2007 a second contingent went to Iraq, and two more were sent during 2008 as part of continued support for the coalition. Tongan involvement concluded at the end of 2008 with no reported loss of life. In 2010, Brigadier General Tauʻaika ʻUtaʻatu, Commander of the Tonga
Tonga
Defence Services, signed an agreement in London committing a minimum of 200 troops to co-operate with Britain's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The task completed in April 2014 and the UK presented Operational Service Medals to each of the soldiers involved during a parade held in Tonga.[34] Tonga
Tonga
has contributed troops and police to the Bougainville conflict in Papua-New Guinea and to the Australian-led RAMSI
RAMSI
force in the Solomon Islands. Administrative divisions[edit] Further information: Administrative divisions of Tonga Tonga
Tonga
is sub-divided into five administrative divisions: ʻEua, Haʻapai, Niuas, Tongatapu, and Vavaʻu.[35][36] Geography[edit] Main article: Geography of Tonga

A map of Tonga

Located in Oceania, Tonga
Tonga
is an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, directly south of Samoa
Samoa
and about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii
Hawaii
to New Zealand. Its 169 islands, 36 of them inhabited,[1] are divided into three main groups – Vava'u, Ha'apai, and Tongatapu
Tongatapu
– and cover an 800-kilometre (500-mile)-long north-south line. The largest island, Tongatapu, on which the capital city of Nukuʻalofa
Nukuʻalofa
is located, covers 257 square kilometres (99 sq mi). Geologically the Tongan islands are of two types: most have a limestone base formed from uplifted coral formations; others consist of limestone overlaying a volcanic base. Climate[edit] The climate is tropical with a distinct warm period (December–April), during which the temperatures rise above 32 °C (89.6 °F), and a cooler period (May–November), with temperatures rarely rising above 27 °C (80.6 °F). The temperature increases from 23 to 27 °C (73.4 to 80.6 °F), and the annual rainfall is from 1,700 to 2,970 millimetres (66.9 to 116.9 inches) as one moves from Tongatapu
Tongatapu
in the south to the more northerly islands closer to the Equator. The average wettest period is around March with on average 263 mm (10.4 in).[37] The average daily humidity is 80%. The highest temperature recorded in Tonga
Tonga
was 35 °C (95 °F) on 11 February 1979 in Vava'u. The coldest temperature recorded in Tonga
Tonga
was 8.7 °C (47.7 °F) on 8 September 1994 in Fua'amotu. Temperatures of 15 °C (59 °F) or lower are usually measured in the dry season and are more frequent in southern Tonga
Tonga
than in the north of the island.[38] The tropical cyclone season currently runs from 1 November to 30 April, though tropical cyclones can form and affect Tonga
Tonga
outside of the season.

Climate data for Nukuʻalofa

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 32 (90) 32 (90) 31 (88) 30 (86) 30 (86) 28 (82) 28 (82) 28 (82) 28 (82) 29 (84) 30 (86) 31 (88) 32 (90)

Average high °C (°F) 28 (82) 29 (84) 28 (82) 27 (81) 26 (79) 25 (77) 25 (77) 24 (75) 25 (77) 25 (77) 27 (81) 27 (81) 26 (79)

Daily mean °C (°F) 25 (77) 25 (77) 25 (77) 24 (75) 23 (73) 21 (70) 21 (70) 21 (70) 21 (70) 22 (72) 23 (73) 23 (73) 23 (73)

Average low °C (°F) 22 (72) 22 (72) 22 (72) 21 (70) 20 (68) 18 (64) 17 (63) 18 (64) 17 (63) 19 (66) 20 (68) 20 (68) 20 (68)

Record low °C (°F) 16 (61) 17 (63) 15 (59) 15 (59) 13 (55) 11 (52) 10 (50) 11 (52) 11 (52) 12 (54) 13 (55) 16 (61) 10 (50)

Average rainfall mm (inches) 130 (5.12) 190 (7.48) 210 (8.27) 120 (4.72) 130 (5.12) 100 (3.94) 100 (3.94) 130 (5.12) 110 (4.33) 90 (3.54) 100 (3.94) 120 (4.72) 1,530 (60.24)

Average rainy days 11 13 14 12 12 10 10 12 10 10 10 10 134

Average relative humidity (%) 77 78 79 76 78 77 75 75 74 74 73 75 75.9

Source: Weatherbase[39]

Ecology[edit] In Tonga, dating back to Tongan legend, flying bats are considered sacred and are the property of the monarchy. Thus they are protected and can not be harmed or hunted. As a result, flying fox bats have thrived in many of the islands of Tonga.[40][41] Economy[edit]

A Tongan one-cent (seniti taha) coin

Nuku Island, Vavaʻu

Humpback whales of Tonga

Main article: Economy of Tonga Tonga's economy is characterised by a large non-monetary sector and a heavy dependence on remittances from the half of the country's population who live abroad (chiefly in Australia, New Zealand
New Zealand
and the United States). The royal family and the nobles dominate and largely own the monetary sector of the economy – particularly the telecommunications and satellite services. Tonga
Tonga
was named the sixth most corrupt country in the world by Forbes magazine in 2008.[42] Tonga
Tonga
was ranked the 165th safest investment destination in the world in the March 2011 Euromoney
Euromoney
Country Risk rankings.[43] The manufacturing sector consists of handicrafts and a few other very small scale industries, which contribute only about 3% of GDP. Commercial business activities also are inconspicuous and, to a large extent, are dominated by the same large trading companies found throughout the South Pacific. In September 1974, the country's first commercial trading bank, the Bank of Tonga, opened. Tonga's development plans emphasise a growing private sector, upgrading agricultural productivity, revitalising the squash and vanilla bean industries, developing tourism, and improving communications and transport. Substantial progress has been made, but much work remains to be done. A small but growing construction sector is developing in response to the inflow of aid monies and remittances from Tongans
Tongans
abroad. In recognition of such a crucial contribution the present government has created a new department within the Prime Minister's Office with the sole purpose of catering for the needs of Tongans
Tongans
living abroad. Furthermore, in 2007 the Tongan Parliament amended citizenship laws to allow Tongans
Tongans
to hold dual citizenship.[44] The tourist industry is relatively undeveloped; however, the government recognises that tourism can play a major role in economic development, and efforts are being made to increase this source of revenue. Cruise ships often stop in Vavaʻu, which has a reputation for its whale watching, game fishing, surfing, beaches and is increasingly becoming a major player in the South Pacific tourism market.[45] Tonga's postage stamps, which feature colourful and often unusual designs (including heart-shaped and banana-shaped stamps), are popular with philatelists around the world.[46] In 2005, the country became eligible to become a member of the World Trade Organization. After an initial voluntary delay, Tonga
Tonga
became a full member of the WTO on 27 July 2007. The Tonga
Tonga
Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI), incorporated in 1996, endeavours to represent the interests of its members, private sector businesses, and to promote economic growth in the Kingdom. Tonga
Tonga
is home to some 106,000 people, but more than double that number live overseas, mainly in the US, New Zealand
New Zealand
and Australia. Remittances
Remittances
from the overseas population has been declining since the onset of the 2008 global economic crisis. The tourism industry is improving, but remains modest at under 90,000 tourists per year.[47] Agriculture[edit] In Tonga, agriculture and forestry (together with fisheries) provide the majority of employment, foreign exchange earnings and food.[48][49] Rural Tongans
Tongans
rely on both plantation and subsistence agriculture. Plants grown for both market cash crops and home use include bananas, coconuts, coffee beans, vanilla beans, and root crops such as cassava, sweet potato and taro. As of 2001[update], two-thirds of agricultural land was in root crops.[48] The processing of coconuts into copra and desiccated (dried) coconut was once the only significant industry, and only commercial export, but deteriorating prices on the world market and lack of replanting brought this once vibrant industry, as in most island nations of the South Pacific, to a complete standstill. Pigs and poultry are the major types of livestock. Horses are kept for draft purposes, primarily by farmers working their ʻapi ʻuta (a plot of bushland). More cattle are being raised, and beef imports are declining.[44] The traditional feudal land ownership system meant that farmers had no incentive to invest in planting long-term tree crops on land they did not own, but in the late twentieth century kava and vanilla from larger plantations became the main agricultural exports, together with squash.[48] The export of squash to Japan, beginning in 1987, once brought relief to Tonga's struggling economy, but increasingly local farmers became wary of the Japanese market due to price fluctuations, not to mention the huge financial risks involved.[44][50] Energy[edit] Tonga
Tonga
has begun implementing tailor-made policies to power its remote islands in a sustainable way without turning to expensive grid-extensions. A number of islands lack a basic electricity supply, a supply entirely coming from imported diesel: in 2009, 19% of GDP and 25% of imports consisted of diesel. In view of the decreasing reliability of fossil-fuel electricity generation, its increasing costs and negative environmental side-effects, renewable energy solutions have attracted the government's attention. Together with IRENA, Tonga
Tonga
has charted out a renewable energy based strategy to power the main and outer islands alike. The strategy focuses on Solar Home Systems that turn individual households into small power plants. In addition, it calls for the involvement of local operators, finance institutions and technicians to provide sustainable business models as well as strategies to ensure the effective operation, management and maintenance once the systems are installed.[51] With the assistance of IRENA, Tonga
Tonga
has developed the 2010–2020 Tonga
Tonga
Energy Road Map (TERM), which aims for a 50% reduction of diesel importation. This will be accomplished through a range of appropriate renewable technologies, including wind and solar, as well as innovative efficiencies.[52] Demographics[edit]

Tonga's population (1961–2003) in thousands

Main article: Demographics of Tonga Over 70% of the 107,122[7] inhabitants live on its main island, Tongatapu. Although an increasing number of Tongans
Tongans
have moved into the only urban and commercial centre, Nukuʻalofa, where European and indigenous cultural and living patterns have blended, village life and kinship ties remain influential throughout the country. Despite emigration, Tonga
Tonga
grew in population from about 32,000 in the 1930s to more than 90,000 by 1976.[53] Ethnic groups[edit] According to the government portal, Tongans, Polynesian by ethnicity with a mixture of Melanesian, represent more than 98% of the inhabitants. 1.5% are mixed Tongans
Tongans
and the rest are European (the majority are British), mixed European, and other Pacific Islanders. In 2001 there were approximately 3,000 or 4,000 Chinese in Tonga, comprising 3 or 4% of the total Tongan population.[54] In 2006, Nukuʻalofa
Nukuʻalofa
riots mainly targeted Chinese-owned businesses, leading to the emigration of several hundred Chinese[55] so that only about 300 remain.[56] Languages[edit] The Tongan language is the official language, along with English. Tongan, a Polynesian language, is closely related to Wallisian (Uvean), Niuean, Hawaiian, and Samoan. Religion[edit]

The Free Wesleyan Church

Although nominally a secular state, the Free Wesleyan Church
Free Wesleyan Church
of Tonga is the established religion in the state. It is the world's only state church in the Methodist
Methodist
tradition of Protestantism, although only one-third of the island's population adheres to it. In 1928, Queen Salote Tupou III, who was a member of the church, established the Free Wesleyan Church as the state religion of Tonga. The chief pastor of the Free Wesleyan Church
Free Wesleyan Church
serves as the representative of the people of Tonga
Tonga
and of the Church at the coronation of a King or Queen of Tonga where he anoints and crowns the Monarch. In opposition to the establishment of the Free Wesleyan Church
Free Wesleyan Church
as a state religion, the Church of Tonga
Church of Tonga
separated from the Free Wesleyan Church
Free Wesleyan Church
in 1928. Everyday life is heavily influenced by Polynesian traditions and by the Christian faith; for example, all commerce and entertainment activities cease on Sunday, from the beginning of the day at midnight, to the end of the day at midnight. The constitution declares the Sabbath sacred forever. As of 2006[update], somewhat more than a third of Tongans
Tongans
claimed the Methodist
Methodist
tradition[57] with Catholic and Mormon populations equalling another third of the adherents. A minority of worshippers form the Free Church of Tonga
Church of Tonga
and there is also the Seventh-day Adventist Church of Tonga. The official figures from the latest government census as of 2011[update] show that 90% of the population are affiliated with a Christian church or sect, with the four major church affiliations in the kingdom as follows:[58]

Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga
Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga
(36,592 or 36%) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
(LDS Church/Mormon) (18,554 or 18%) Roman Catholics (15,441 or 15%) Free Church of Tonga
Church of Tonga
(11,863 or 12%)

Health[edit] By some published surveys, Tonga
Tonga
has one of the highest obesity rates in the world.[59] World Health Organisation
World Health Organisation
data published in 2014 indicates that Tonga
Tonga
stands 4th overall in terms of countries listed by mean body mass index data. In 2011, 90% of the adult population were considered overweight using NIH interpretation of body mass index (BMI) data, with more than 60% of those obese.[60] 70% of Tongan women aged 15–85 are obese. Tonga
Tonga
and nearby Nauru
Nauru
have the world's highest overweight and obese populations.[61] Obesity
Obesity
in the Pacific islands is common. Education[edit] Main article: Education in Tonga Primary education between ages 6 and 14 is compulsory and free in state schools. Mission schools provide about 8% of the primary and 90% of the secondary level of education. State schools make up for the rest. Higher education includes teacher training, nursing and medical training, a small private university, a woman's business college, and a number of private agricultural schools. Most higher education is pursued overseas. Tongans
Tongans
enjoy a relatively high level of education, with a 98.9% literacy rate,[62] and higher education up to and including medical and graduate degrees (pursued mostly overseas). Culture[edit] Main article: Culture of Tonga

Kava culture

Humans have lived in Tonga
Tonga
for nearly 3,000 years, since settlement in late Lapita
Lapita
times. Before the arrival of European explorers in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Tongans
Tongans
had frequent contacts with their nearest oceanic neighbours, Fiji
Fiji
and Niue. In the 19th century, with the arrival of Western traders and missionaries, Tongan culture changed, especially in religion. As of 2013[update], almost 98 percent of residents profess Christianity. The people discarded some old beliefs and habits and adopted others.

The start of a Tongan tauʻolunga dance

Contemporary Tongans
Tongans
often have strong ties to overseas lands. Many Tongans
Tongans
have emigrated to Australia, New Zealand, or the United States to seek employment and a higher standard of living. The United States is the preferred destination for Tongan emigrants, and as of 2000 there were 36,840 Tongans
Tongans
living in the US.[63] More than 8,000 Tongans
Tongans
live in Australia.[64] The Tongan diaspora retains close ties to relatives at home,[citation needed] and a significant portion of Tonga's income derives from remittances[citation needed] to family members (often aged) who prefer to remain in Tonga. Sport[edit] Further information: Sport in Tonga Rugby[edit] Rugby union
Rugby union
is the national sport,[65] and the national team (ʻIkale Tahi, or Sea Eagles) has performed quite well on the international stage. Tonga
Tonga
has competed in six Rugby World Cups since 1987. The 2007 and 2011 Rugby World Cups were Tonga's most successful to date, both winning two out of four matches and in a running chance for the quarter finals. In the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Tonga
Tonga
won its first two matches, against the USA 25–15, and Samoa
Samoa
19–15. They came very close to upsetting the eventual winners of the 2007 tournament, the South African Springboks, losing 30–25. A loss to England, 36–20 in their last pool game ended their hopes of making the knockout stages. Nevertheless, by picking up third place in their pool games behind South Africa and England, Tonga
Tonga
earned automatic qualification for the 2011 Rugby World Cup
Rugby World Cup
in New Zealand. In Pool A of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Tonga
Tonga
beat both Japan
Japan
31-18 and 5th ranked[66] eventual finalist France
France
19-14 in the latter pool stages. However, a previous heavy defeat to the All Blacks
All Blacks
at the tournament's opener (41–10) and a subsequent tight loss to Canada
Canada
(25–20) meant that Tonga
Tonga
lost out to France
France
(who also lost to NZ) for the quarter finals due to 2 bonus points and a points difference of 46. Tonga's best result before 2007 came in 1995, when they beat Côte d'Ivoire 29–11, and 1999 when they beat Italy
Italy
28–25 (although with only 14 men they lost heavily to England, 101–10). Tonga
Tonga
perform the Ikale Tahi war dance or Sipi Tau (a form of Kailao) before all their matches. Tonga
Tonga
used to compete in the Pacific Tri-Nations against Samoa
Samoa
and Fiji, which has now been replaced by the IRB Pacific Nations Cup, which now involves Japan, Canada, and the United States. At club level, there are the Datec Cup Provincial Championship and the Pacific Rugby Cup. Rugby union
Rugby union
is governed by the Tonga
Tonga
Rugby Football Union, which was a member of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance and contributed to the Pacific Islanders
Pacific Islanders
rugby union team, before they were disbanded in 2009. Many players of Tongan descent – e.g., Jonah Lomu, Israel Folau, Viliami "William" ʻOfahengaue, Malakai Fekitoa, Ben Afeaki, Charles Piutau, Frank Halai, Sekope Kepu, George Smith, Wycliff Palu, Sitaleki Timani, Salesi Ma'afu, Anthony and Saia Faingaa, Mark Gerrard, Cooper Vuna, Doug Howlett, Toutai Kefu and Tatafu Polota-Nau
Tatafu Polota-Nau
– have played for either the All Blacks
All Blacks
or the Wallabies. British and Irish Lion
British and Irish Lion
and Welsh international player Taulupe "Toby" Faletau is Tongan born and the son of Tongan international Kuli Faletau. Taulupe's cousins and England international players Billy and Mako Vunipola
Mako Vunipola
(who is also a British and Irish Lion), are sons of former Tonga
Tonga
rugby captain Fe'ao Vunipola. Rugby is popular among the nation's schools, and students from schools such as Tonga
Tonga
College and Tupou College
Tupou College
are regularly offered scholarships in New Zealand, Australia
Australia
and Japan. Rugby league
Rugby league
has gained some success. In the 2008 Rugby League World Cup Tonga
Tonga
recorded wins against Ireland and Scotland. In the 2017 World Cup, the Tonga
Tonga
side beat New Zealand
New Zealand
in Hamilton at Waikato Stadium on 11 November. In doing so, Tonga
Tonga
became the first national side in the history of the sport (outside of the big three nations of Australia, New Zealand
New Zealand
and England/Great Britain) to beat one of the big three nations. In addition to the success of the national team, many players of Tongan descent make it big in the Australian National Rugby League competition. These include Willie Mason, Manu Vatuvei, Brent Kite, Willie Tonga, Anthony Tupou, Antonio Kaufusi, Israel Folau, Taniela Tuiaki, Michael Jennings, Tony Williams, Feleti Mateo, Fetuli Talanoa, to name a few. Subsequently, some Tongan Rugby league players have established successful careers in the British Super League such as Antonio Kaufusi.[67] Olympics[edit] Main article: Tonga
Tonga
at the Olympics Aside from rugby, Tonga
Tonga
has also produced athletes who have competed at both the Summer and Winter Olympics. Tonga's only Olympic medal came from the 1996 Summer Olympics
1996 Summer Olympics
in Atlanta, where Paea Wolfgramm won silver in Super heavyweight boxing. One athlete attended the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Media[edit]

Matangi Tonga – online newspaper Taimi o Tonga
Tonga
(Times of Tonga) – controversial newspaper Keleʻa – newspaper Talaki – newspaper Kalonikali – newspaper Tauʻataina – newspaper Kakalu – newspaper Tonga Broadcasting Commission
Tonga Broadcasting Commission
(Television Tonga, Television Tonga
Television Tonga
2, Radio Tonga 1, Radio Tonga 2 – Kool 90FM, 103FM)

See also[edit]

Book: Tonga

Geography portal Oceania
Oceania
portal

2006 Nuku‘alofa riots 2006 Tonga
Tonga
earthquake 2009 Samoa
Samoa
earthquake and tsunami 2009 Tonga
Tonga
earthquake Human rights in Tonga Music of Tonga Outline of Tonga Telecommunications in Tonga Tongan mythology Tongan nobles Tonga-Kermadec Ridge Transport in Tonga Tupenu Visa policy of Tonga

References[edit]

^ a b c "The World Factbook: Tonga: Geography". Retrieved 9 March 2016.  ^ Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga
Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga
is the officially established church. See Religion section in this article for more details. ^ Tonga
Tonga
National Population Census 2011; Preliminary Count. pmo.gov.to (22 December 2011). ^ a b c d "Tonga". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 22 April 2012.  ^ "Human Development Report 2015" (PDF). United Nations. 2015. Retrieved 15 December 2015.  ^ Churchward, C.M. (1985) Tongan grammar, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-908717-05-9 ^ a b "World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision". ESA.UN.org (custom data acquired via website). United Nations
United Nations
Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 10 September 2017.  ^ Mariner, William and Martin, John (1817). An account of the natives of the Tonga
Tonga
islands in the south Pacific Ocean: With an original grammar and vocabulary of their language. Compiled and arranged from the extensive communications of Mr. William Mariner, several years' resident in those islands, Volume 2, pp. 64–65. Retrieved 3 November 2010. ^ Tonga: History. The Commonwealth. ^ Jolliffe, Lee, ed. (2010). Coffee Culture, Destinations and Tourism. Channel View Publications. p. 112. ASIN B01N5V6V0F.  ^ Nationaal Archief, archiefinventaris 1.11.01.01 inventarisnummer 121, scan 85 hdl:10648/877f659e-35ce-4059-945e-294a4d05d29c ^ Kirch, Patrick Vinton (1997) The Lapita
Lapita
Peoples, Wiley, ISBN 1-57718-036-4. ^ New dating pinpoints Tonga's Lapita
Lapita
settlement, Radio Australia, 12 November 2012 ^ Stanton, William (1975). The Great United States
United States
Exploring Expedition. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 186. ISBN 0520025571.  ^ Kohn, George C. (2008). Encyclopedia of plague and pestilence: from ancient times to the present. Infobase Publishing. p. 363. ISBN 0-8160-6935-2.  ^ "The Sun Finally Sets on Our Men in Paradise"; The Daily Telegraph; article of 21 March 2005; retrieved August 2016. ^ "King George, of the Friendly Islands" (PDF). The Wesleyan Juvenile Offering: A Miscellany of Missionary Information for Young Persons. Wesleyan Missionary Society. IX: 1. 1852. Retrieved 24 February 2016.  ^ "Articles:Listing Tonga". Property Tonga. Retrieved 20 September 2016.  ^ Tonga's king tricked by Korean sea water to natural gas scam. michaelfield.org (December 1997). ^ "Tonga : In Depth : History". Frommers.com. Retrieved 27 June 2010.  ^ "The ships that died of shame". smh.com.au. 14 January 2003. Retrieved 27 June 2010.  ^ "Tongasat". Mendosa.com. 30 December 1996. Retrieved 27 June 2010.  ^ iSite Interactive Limited. "No Govt Support Blamed for Airline Collapse". Islands Business. Archived from the original on 1 July 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2010.  ^ "Articles:Listing Tonga". Tobacco.org. Retrieved 27 June 2010.  ^ Robie, David (November 1996). "The contempt case of the 'Tongan Three'". Pacific Journalism Review. 3 (2).  ^ "Tongan Court Case Over Wrongful Imprisonment Recommences – July 31, 2002". Radio NZ. 31 July 2002. Retrieved 7 September 2016.  ^ "Rioting crowd leaves leaves trail of wreckage in Nuku'alofa". Matangitonga.to. 16 November 2006. Archived from the original on 9 June 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2010.  ^ "ADF deployment to Tonga, 2006". 17 January 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2017.  ^ "Tonga's king to cede key powers". BBC News. 29 July 2008. Retrieved 31 July 2008.  ^ "蘋果日報 – 20120319 – 患血癌染肺炎 搶救數日無效湯加國王 駕崩瑪麗醫院". Appledaily News HK. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2012.  ^ " Tonga
Tonga
crowns King Tupou VI
Tupou VI
in lavish public coronation, parties". ABC News.  ^ "Tonga's diplomatic community grows"[permanent dead link], Matangi Tonga, 12 January 2009. ^ Iraq
Iraq
Coalition Troops, GlobalSecurity, 18 August 2005 ^ "Tongan troops to work with UK and other ISAF forces in Afghanistan". Ministry of Defence. 22 September 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2012.  ^ Population Census 2006: Population size, Trend, Distribution and Structure, Tonga
Tonga
Department of Statistics ^ Divisions of Tonga, Statoids.com ^ "Climate Guides – Plan Your Ideal Holiday Trip". Weather2Travel. Retrieved 17 August 2012.  ^ http://www.met.gov.to/index_files/climate_summary_tonga.pdf ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Nukuʻalofa, Tonga". weatherbase.com.  ^ Grant, Gilbert S. (1996). "Kingdom of Tonga: Safe Haven for Flying Foxes". Bat Conservation International. 14 (2). Retrieved 13 October 2016.  ^ "About Tonga: Tongan Bats". Tonga
Tonga
Charter. Retrieved 12 October 2016.  ^ "In Pictures: The World's Most Corrupt Countries". Forbes Magazine. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 10 August 2010.  ^ " Euromoney
Euromoney
Country Risk". Euromoney
Euromoney
Country Risk. Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC. Retrieved 15 August 2011.  ^ a b c Ellicott, Karen, ed. (2006). Countries of the world and their leaders yearbook 2007. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale. p. 1873. ISBN 0-7876-8103-2.  ^ Background Note: Tonga, US Department of State, 31 October 2011. ^ Hinz, Earl R. & Howard, Jim (2006). Landfalls of Paradise: Cruising Guide to the Pacific Islands. University of Hawaii
Hawaii
Press. p. 157. ISBN 0-8248-3037-7.  ^ "Paradise Lost, Tonga
Tonga
Mired in Poverty". Jakarta Globe. 18 April 2012. Archived from the original on 4 February 2013.  ^ a b c Halavatau, S. M. & Halavatau, N. V. (2001), Food Security Strategies for the Kingdom of Tonga
Tonga
(PDF), Working Paper number 57, United Nations
United Nations
Centre for Alleviation of Poverty Through Secondary Crops' Development in Asia
Asia
and the Pacific (CAPSA), archived (PDF) from the original on 10 September 2015  ^ Kunzel, W. (1989), Agroforestry in Tonga: A Traditional Source for Development of Sustainable Farming Systems, Occasional Paper 12, Armidale, New South Wales: South Pacific Smallholder Project, University of New England  ^ Rejects from squash production excessed 30%. Halavatau, S. M. & Hausia, S. F. (2000), Small Farmer Participation in Export Production: Kingdom of Tonga
Tonga
Case Studies, Apia, Samoa: FAO Regional Workshop on Small Farmer Participation in Export Production in the Pacific Islands  ^ "International Renewable Energy Agency". IRENA. 26 January 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2010.  ^ " Tonga
Tonga
Energy Press Release: IRENA
IRENA
signing, a milestone for Tonga's renewable energy plans". Tonga-energy.to. 24 June 2010. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2012.  ^ Small, Cathy A. and Dixon, David L. "Tonga: Migration and the Homeland", Migration Policy Institute. ^ "Editorial: Racist moves will rebound on Tonga", New Zealand
New Zealand
Herald, 23 November 2001 ^ "Flight chartered to evacuate Chinese in Tonga", ABC News, 22 November 2006 ^ "China’s World Wide Web: Overseas Chinese in the South Pacific", Springer.com, January 2016 ^ Ernst, Manfred (1994) Winds of Change, Suva: Pacific Conference of Churches, p. 146, ISBN 9822000677. ^ " Tonga
Tonga
2011 Census of Population and Housing". Table G17. Archived from the original on 5 February 2014.  ^ Watson, Katy (18 January 2016). "How mutton flaps are killing Tonga". BBC News
BBC News
Online. Retrieved 25 February 2016.  ^ Sands, Neil (10 April 2011) "Pacific island nations battle obesity epidemic" Archived 18 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine., Agence France-Presse. ^ Mark Henderson (18 February 2008) Welcome to the town that will make you lose weight. Times Online. www.timesonline.co.uk ^ "Tonga". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 22 June 2010.  ^ Helen Morton Lee (2003). Tongans
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Overseas: Between Two Shores. University of Hawaii
Hawaii
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Sport". Virtual Oceania. 26 February 2015.  ^ "Official RWC 2011 Site". rugbyworldcup.com. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012.  ^ "Superleague". Superleague. 8 October 2008. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

Ethnography, culture and history

On the Edge of the Global: Modern Anxieties in a Pacific Island Nation (2011) by Niko Besnier. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, ISBN 978-0-8047-7406-2 Becoming Tongan: An Ethnography of Childhood by Helen Morton Queen Salote of Tonga: The Story of an Era, 1900–65 by Elizabeth Wood-Ellem Tradition Versus Democracy in the South Pacific: Fiji, Tonga
Tonga
and Western Samoa
Samoa
by Stephanie Lawson Voyages: From Tongan Villages to American Suburbs Cathy A. Small Friendly Islands: a history of Tonga
Tonga
(1977). Noel Rutherford. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-550519-0 Tonga
Tonga
and the Tongans: heritage and identity (2007) Elizabeth Wood-Ellem. Alphington, Vic.: Tonga
Tonga
Research Association, ISBN 978-0-646-47466-3 Early Tonga: as the explorers saw it 1616–1810. (1987). Edwin N Ferdon. Tucson: University of Arizona Press; ISBN 0-8165-1026-1 The Art of Tonga
Tonga
(Ko e ngaahi'aati'o Tonga) by Keith St Cartmail. (1997) Honolulu : University of Hawai`i Press. ISBN 0-8248-1972-1 The Tonga
Tonga
Book by Paul. W. Dale Tonga
Tonga
by James Siers

Wildlife and environment

Birds of Fiji, Tonga
Tonga
and Samoa
Samoa
by Dick Watling A Guide to the Birds of Fiji
Fiji
and Western Polynesia: Including American Samoa, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu
Tuvalu
and Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna
by Dick Watling Guide to the Birds of the Kingdom of Tonga
Tonga
by Dick Watling

Travel guides

Lonely Planet Guide: Samoan Islands
Samoan Islands
and Tonga
Tonga
by Susannah Farfor and Paul Smitz Moon Travel Guide: Samoa- Tonga
Tonga
by David Stanley

Bibliography

Martin Daly (2009). Tonga: A New Bibliography. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-3196-7. 

Fiction

Brian K. Crawford (2009). Toki: A Historical Novel. Brian K. Crawford. ISBN 978-0-557-03434-5. 

External links[edit]

Find more aboutTongaat's sister projects

Definitions from Wiktionary Media from Wikimedia Commons News from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote Texts from Wikisource Textbooks from Wikibooks Travel guide from Wikivoyage Learning resources from Wikiversity

"Tonga". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.  Tonga
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from UCB Libraries GovPubs The Friendly Islands: 1616 to 1900 Tonga
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at Curlie (based on DMOZ) Tonga
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from the BBC News Wikimedia Atlas of Tonga Key Development Forecasts for Tonga
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from International Futures

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