9 Nov 2004

Tongan MP says TBC staff working in fear

2:14 pm on 9 November 2004

A People's Representative says staff at the State-owned Tonga Broadcasting live in fear of losing their jobs whenever they broadcast material the government doesn't like.

Fineasi Funaki, who is one of nine elected MPs in the 30 member parliament, says he had compiled a programme to air on state television explaining various aspects of a recent court ruling.

The ruling went against the government's amendments to the constitution.

However, Mr Funaki says the programme was not allowed to air because he alleges there was pressure from the government.

"The workers are good workers. They're willing to do their best at times if not always, but the fact is they cannot perform because of this certain fear that the government always puts pressure them concerning the programmes that they air."

Mr Funaki has sought a court injunction to get the programme broadcast and a ruling is expected by the end of next week.