Lavulavu wants TBC to investigate staff over allegedly defamatory reports; broadcaster says it “was clear of breaking any laws”

    A defiant ‘Etutate Lavulavu has written to Tonga Broadcasting Commission General Manager Solomone Finau and demanded he suspend his news room staff and station manager Setita Tu’i’onetoa.

    Lavulavu wanted TBC to investigate what he described in Tongan as falsified, incompleted, untruthful and invalidated reports.

    He accused the national radio and television service of not giving him a chance to respond to accusations against him. He said the rules of natural justice had not been followed.

    He said if TBC did not comply with his demand within two days he would take legal action against it.

    As Kaniva news reported this week, Lavulavu has said that an incriminating audio recording of him, parts of which were broadcast on Television Tonga’s news, was doctored and twisted to discredit him.

    The TBC news story, which was also carried by Tu’i’onetoa on her Facebook page, alleged that  Lavulavu manipulated members of parliament before  the People’s Party formed the government.

    It also alleged that Lavulavu has requested that the government reward his part in establishing the People’s party and to approve an application to lease the plot of land on which the government flat he is renting is situated.

    Lavulavu vehemently denied the allegations and said he did not make any requests to the government for rewards for the advice he gave the coalition parties before they won the premiership election and formed the new government.

    In the letter to TBC boss dated October 14, and which was seen by Kaniva, Lavulavu claimed the report by TBC was based on how reporters interpreted what they heard from the secret recorded audio.

    TBC response

    Tu’i’onetoa has described Lavulavu’s letter to Kaniva news using the Tongan word “fakanāfala.”- a word coined from cricket for the hit made by the batsman who had not made sure of his target.

    She told us TBC has consulted two lawyers before she released the news.

    She also wrote on Facebook: “There was genuine news value in chronicling the existence of the conversation recorded on tape. Both sides were aired. Lavulavu’s side of which (he) declined, PM’s side and the other side of course the recorded material.”

    Tu’i’onetoa said she  did not accept that TBC was liable for defamation.

    “We are not prepared to agree to the terms of Lavulavu’s offer and if Lavulavu files proceedings, we will defend ourselves,” she said.

    “The news was clear of breaking any laws of the government of Tonga and the news did not breach any of TBC’s policies and regulations.”

    The main points

    • A defiant ‘Etutate Lavulavu has written to Tonga Broadcasting Commission General Manager Solomone Finau and demanded he suspend his news room staff and station manager Setita Tu’i’onetoa.
    • Lavulavu wanted TBC to investigate what he described in Tongan as falsified, incompleted, untruthful and invalidated reports.

    For more information

    Lavulavu claims incriminating audio doctored, threatened to sue Tonga Broadcasting Commission and others

    3 COMMENTS

    1. Etuate Lavulavu ought to go and jump off a cliff. He is a sight of sore eyes. He’s an amoral character and a bully who needs someone to punch him squarely on the face. He was kicked out of Parliament for nepotism and corruption. And yet, he’s still allowed to sit in an area in government where trust is needed. He’s like a “Pusi-kai-moa,” he has a tasted for corruption, and Lavulavu won’t stop until he and his family are entirely banned from participating in government or any of its programs ever again. Corruption is the enemy of our democracy, and it must be rooted out completely from every level of government. Tu’a ‘ofa atu.

    2. […] Lavulavu wants TBC to investigate staff over allegedly defamatory reports; broadcaster says it “wa… Lavulavu claims incriminating audio doctored, threatened to sue Tonga Broadcasting Commission and others Previous articleRugby League Invitational XIII showed what is possible when unity prevails, King tells players Kalino Latu […]

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