17 Dec 2014

Opposition MP says Fiji TV sackings political

8:35 am on 17 December 2014

A member of the opposition in Fiji says the sudden sacking of two senior staff from Fiji TV is politically motivated.

The chief executive and another senior manager have been sacked just days after the station was involved in a rights battle between the government and the sporting body World Rugby.

Earlier this month, Fiji lost television coverage of the Dubai Sevens because World Rugby objected to a government decree overriding broadcast rights that had been given to Fiji TV.

World Rugby later released the broadcast feed after the government agreed to remove future events from the decree.

The MP Bill Gavoka says the two staff members have unfairly paid the price for the ordeal.

"I think it's very obvious that it has to do with the TV Cross-Licence thing. It's very evident that the heavy hand of the state is behind all this. These two people are wonderful people, very loyal, doing a wonderful job. I'm just surprised at this sudden turn of events."

Last year, Fiji TV sacked a veteran reporter after the regime leader told the station to choose between keeping the reporter or losing its licence.

Fiji TV's licence is up for renewal at the end of this month.

Fiji's refurbished parliament, a stone building with clock tower at entrance

Fiji's refurbished parliament, Suva Photo: RNZ / Philippa Tolley