Kingdom of Tonga
Fakatu'i ‘o Tonga
Political Status: Constitutional monarchy; independent within the Commonwealth since June 4, 1970.
Area: 289 sq. mi. (748 sq. km.).
Population: 97,784 (1996C); 103,070 (2007E).
Major Urban Center (2005E): NUKU'ALOFA (39,300).
Official Languages: Tongan, English.
Monetary Unit: Pa'anga (official rate November 1, 2008: 2.14 pa'anga = $1US).
Head of State: King SIAOSI (GEORGE) TUPOU V; succeeded to the throne on September 11, 2006, following the death of his father, King TAUFA'AHAU TUPOU IV, on September 10.
Prime Minister: Dr. Feleti (Fred) SEVELE; appointed by the king on March 31, 2006, following acting appointment to succeed Prince 'ULUKALALA Lavaka Ata, who had resigned on February 11.
Located south of Samoa in the Pacific Ocean, Tonga (also known as the Friendly Islands) embraces some 200 islands that run north and south ...