19 Jul 2010

Tonga Government warned of strong opposition to planned media curbs

4:12 pm on 19 July 2010

A newspaper publisher in Tonga is warning the government not to follow the same route it has previously done in trying to regulate print media, saying there'll be strong opposition to such a move.

Last week Tonga's Information and Communications Minister 'Eseta Fusitu'a revealed on TV Tonga that the Government intended bringing in controls on the print media, similar to those it has already imposed on broadcasting.

Attempts to enforce similar controls over the print media in 2003 were thrown out after a Supreme Court challenge by publishers.

Kalafi Moala says back then they'd applied for a licence to operate the Taimi o Tonga newspaper but were declined by the government and banned from distributing it for nine months.

"'So when I hear a rustling in the wind there could be the same thing happening my hand goes up and I say oh no please don't go that way again.'"

The Taimi o Tonga newspaper's Kalafi Moala.