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Yearbook 2000

Tonga. Just a few days into the new year, King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV appointedhis youngest son, 40-year-old prince 'Ulukalala Lavaka Ata, as new prime minister. According to COUNTRYAAH, Crown Prince Tupouto, who left the government in May 1999 to engage in business and which some believed would get the post, had earlier objected that the prime minister should hold office for life. However, Tupouto said that Lavaka was the only one who could speak fully openly to the king.

2000 Tonga

In November, an Australian biotech company received exclusive right to research on Tongan's genetic heritage. By taking DNA and blood samples from the country's 100,000 residents, the company hopes to be able to find the causes of a variety of diseases, such as breast cancer. The population of remote islands is ideal for gene researchers because it is easy to trace the genetic heritage back several generations.

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