Prime Minister ʻAkilisi Pohiva. File photo/Kalino Lātū (Kaniva Tonga News)

Tongan Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva has declared war on the Tongan Broadcasting Corporation.

He has declared the TBC to be “an enemy of the government” and said its job was to support the administration.

Once regarded as a champion of media freedom, the Prime Minister told Radio New Zealand he was not happy with the TBC.

He described the state broadcaster as an obstacle and a constraint on the work of the government.

“They claim the freedom of media should be allowed, should be the same with any other media in Tonga, but they should understand there is a basic difference between a private media and also government media,” he said.

Hon. Pohiva said the TBC’s operations would be reviewed next month.

He claimed it had been losing money for the past decade and its services might be better provided by another broadcaster.

However, Lord Fusitu’a said any move to shut down the TBC would be in breach of the constitution.

“The very basis of any Westminster democracy is the rule of law and once you chip away at freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, you are chipping away at the rule of law which ends up, in most cases, disregard to the rule of law,” he said.

The Prime Minister has accused the TBC in the past of aiding his political opponents and had Viola Ulakai journalist suspended after she claimed to be calling for a press conference on behalf of the Tonga Media Council.

As Kaniva News reported in May, the President of the Pacific Islands News Association, Moses Stevens, criticised Hon. Pohiva over Ulakai’s suspension.

In a statement issued to mark World Press Freedom Day, Stevens accused the Tongan government of censoring the media.

“The Tongan case is interesting because it involved a Prime Minister who was a respected champion for democracy, free speech, freedom of expression and free media,” Stevens said.

The main points

  • Tongan Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva has declared war on the Tongan Broadcasting Corporation.
  • He has declared the TBC to be “an enemy of the government” and said its job was to support the administration.
  • Once regarded as a champion of media freedom, the Prime Minister told Radio New Zealand he was not happy with the TBC.
  • He described the state broadcaster as an obstacle and a constraint on the work of the government.

For more information

Tonga’s PM calls state broadcaster ‘enemy of govt’

Tongan noble says PM plans are unconstitutional

1 COMMENT

  1. Kuo piuaki tau e ‘Eiki Palēmia ʻo Tongá ʻAkilisi Pōhiva ki he Kautaha Fakamafolalea ʻa Tongá (TBC).

    Kuó ne fakahā e TBC ko e fili ia ʻo e puleʻangá mo ne pehē ko ʻenau ngāué ke poupouʻi e puleʻangá.

    Ne fakahā ʻe he ʻEiki Palēmiá, ʻa ia ne ʻi ai e taimi ʻe taha ne taku ai ia ko e semipione ʻo e tauʻatāina ʻa e mītiá, ki he letiō Nuʻu Silá naʻe ʻikai ke ne fiefia he TBC.

    Ne ne pehē ko e fakamafolalea ʻa e fonuá kuo hoko ko e tūkiaʻanga mo e fakafaingataʻaʻia ki he ngāue ʻa e puleʻangá.

    ʻOku nau taukave e fakamafolaleá ni ʻoku totonu ke tuku ange ke nau tauʻatāina ʻo tatau pe mo ha toe mītia Tonga, ka ʻoku totonu ke mahino kiate kinautolu ʻoku ʻi ai e kehekehe tefito ʻi ha mītia taautaha mo e mītia ʻa e puleʻangá, ko e meʻa ia ʻa e ʻEiki Palēmiá.

    Ne pehē ʻe ʻOnapolo Pōhiva ʻe fai hano liviu e fakahoko fatongia ʻa e TBC he māhina kahaʻú.

    Ne ne pehē ko e taʻu ʻe 10 kuohilí ne lele mole pe kautaha ko ʻení pea ʻe malava ke ʻave hono ngaahi fatongiá ke fakahoko ia ʻe ha fakamafolalea kehe ʻe taha.

    Neongo ʻeni kuo fakahā foki ʻe Looti Fusituʻa ko e ngaʻunu ko ʻeni ke tāpuni ʻa e TBC ko e maumau konisitūtone ia.

    “Ko e tefito ʻo e founga pule fakatemokalati uesiminisitaá ko e pule ʻa e laó pea ka ke ka fakamamaʻo mei he tauʻatāina ʻo e leá, tauʻatāina ʻo e fakahā e fakakaukaú, tauʻatāina ke pulusi, ʻokú ke fakamamaʻo mei he pule ʻa e laó ʻa ia ʻe iku ʻi he ngaahi meʻa lahi ʻo kau ai hono taʻe fakaʻapaʻapaʻi e pule ʻa e laó, ko e meʻa ia ʻa Fusituʻá.

    Ne tukuakiʻi foki ʻe he ʻEiki Palēmiá e TBC he kuohilí ki hono tokoniʻi hono ngaahi hoatau fakapolitikalé peá ke tuli fakataimi ʻa e faiongoongo ko Viola Ulakai hili ia hono pehē ne uki ʻe Ulakai ha konifelenisi maʻa e Kosilio Mītia ʻa Tongá.

    Hangē ko ia ne līpooti ʻe he Ongoongo ʻa e Kanivá ʻi Meé ne fakaangaʻi ʻe he Palesiteni ʻo e Pacific Islands News Association, Moses Stevens ʻa Pōhiva ʻi he ngaʻunu ko ia ke tuli fakataimi ʻa Ulakaí.

    ʻI ha siteitimeni ne tuku mai ki hono fakaʻilongaʻi e ʻaho ʻo e Tauʻatāina ʻa e Ongoongó ʻi Māmaní ne tukuakiʻi ai ʻe Stevens e puleʻanga Tongá ki hono sivi mo taʻotaʻofi e ongoongó.

    Ko e meʻa ʻoku hoko ʻi Tongá ʻoku mālie koeʻuhi ko e kau ai ʻa ha ʻEiki Palēmia naʻe fakaʻapaʻapaʻi hono tāʻuluafi e founga pule fakatemokālatí, tauʻatāian ke leá, tauʻatāina ke fakahā mo e tauʻatāina ʻa e mītiá, ko e lau ia ʻa Stevens.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here