15 Mar 2017

Tonga's PM calls state broadcaster 'enemy of govt'

2:44 pm on 15 March 2017

Tonga's Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva wants to review the role of the state broadcaster because it has become "an enemy of government".

Tongan Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva.

Tongan Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva. Photo: RNZI/Alex Perrottet

Mr Pohiva said he was not happy with how the Tonga Broadcasting Commission operated and a review would be carried out over the next month.

The prime minister said the services may be better carried out by a different provider.

Mr Pohiva, who has long been at loggerheads with the management of the TBC, said the broadcaster was an obstacle and a real constraint on the work of government.

"They have become an enemy of 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. Their main role, to me, is to facilitate the work of the government."

'Akilisi Pohiva said the TBC had also been running at a loss for the past 10 years.

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