The Prime Minister said the way TBC reported and broadcast showed they were not independent or impartial and there was evidence of malice and hatred. (L-R) Laumanu Petelō and PM ʻAkilisi Pōhiva

Senior Tonga Broadcasting Commission staffer Laumanu Petelō repeatedly clashed with Prime Minister ‘Akiliksi Pohiva during a press conference on Friday.

Petelō told the Prime Minister: “We are not your enemy.”

The Prime Minister told her to move on from that but Petelo responded instantly: “I need to state it clearly.”

The Prime Minister talked again, but Petelō interrupted and told him “we are the scapegoat” and said the TBC did not hold an ill feeling towards him.

Petelō said the Prime Minister did not want the TBC to report anything bad about him.

During a lengthy and fractious exchange, Hon. Pōhiva repeatedly asked Petelō to return to the agenda, but she kept interrupting him after he confirmed the government would review the state broadcaster’s operations.

Hon. Pōhiva said the government was in the process of reassessing the state broadcaster’s “function and roles” and they would meet to pass a resolution for the review soon.

“Radio A3Z’s history as it came to me personally was not good,” he told the conference.

“They cannot provide, support and facilitate government’s operations as it is a government’s property.”

He said there was proof the A3Z ran at a loss and there was a huge debt it might not be able to pay it back.

He said the way they reported and broadcast showed they were not independent or impartial and there was evidence of malice and hatred.

The broadcaster should support the government and facilitate government’s work, he said.

“This does not mean we have to scrutinise them, but they have to do it in the proper way,” Hon. Pōhiva said.

“If you ask me to tell you how I came up with this conclusion I have been in contact with the broadcaster for a long time.

“Every intelligent person could tell. There is nothing there to hide.”

The Prime Minister said the radio station did not need to compete with private sector media.

“We just want them to make enough profit to cover their expenses that’s it,” he said.

Response

When Petelō was given a chance to respond during the press conference she asked the Prime Minister to give examples to support his accusations against them.

She said that at the last press conference Hon. Pōhiva identified her as a malevolent person.

“It was because you did not like the way we asked hard questions about you and asked things we thought that were important for the public to know,” Petelō said.

“I was not angry,” the Prime Minister responded; but Petelō replied: “But you said I was malevolent.”

“We are talking about facts”, Hon. Pōhiva replied, but Petelō interrupted and said she and Hon. Pōhiva had been on this for a long time and he knew the way she questioned him especially asking probing questions.

The Prime Minister stopped her and asked to not talk about it as they were talking about something which was abstract.

“Nobody knows, but I can easily tell from your face and the way you presented your questions there was anger. That’s how I looked at it. I may be wrong,” Hon. Pohiva said.

The Prime Minister invited the conference to return to the agenda and talked about something else.

Hon. Pōhiva cited a recent report by the TBC accusing him of sacking two excavator operators.

But he was cut off by Petelō, who asked: “So you did not want us to report anything that you were accused of?”

The Prime Minister instantly responded and asked her to wait until he had finished his explanation.

But when Hon. Pōhiva continued, Petelō continued speaking and said the duo did not complaint to her.

The Prime Minister again asked her to move on and leave the topic.

“It’s a trivial thing,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the radio reported the result of the Vote of No Confidence against him last month.

The station reported the result saying Hon. Pōhiva won, but at the end of the story the broadcaster aired the views of some of the people who did not like the result.

Hon. Pōhiva said that was an example of an attempt by the radio to belittle the result of a significant vote.

Petelō again interrupted, asking: “Was that bad? That’s how it supposed to be. We have to bring other people’s views.”

She said TBC journalists had a duty and were objective in their work.

The Prime Minister said the government trusted the other radio station, FM 87.5, and warned Petelo that other private businesses advertised with the station.

This was a clear indicator the TBC was not doing their job properly, he said.

Petelō said the government did not allocate a budget for the state broadcaster and the people were free to choose which broadcaster they wanted to use.

The Prime Minister again asked her to leave the topic as it should not be discussed in the conference, but Petelō instantly responded and said: “I believe it should be discussed in this meeting”.

The Prime Minister told  Petelō this was an issue that should be discussed with the Manager and the board and not with her.

She eventually apologised to the Prime Minster and asked him to pardon her if she became an obstruction to him.

The Prime Minister said it was all right, but he wanted the TBC to call on the government and clarify things that were of concerns to them.

The main points

  • Senior Tonga Broadcasting Commission staffer Laumanu Petelō repeatedly clashed with Prime Minister ‘Akiliksi Pōhiva during a press conference yesterday.
  • Petelō told the Prime Minister: “We are not your enemy.”
  • During a lengthy and fractious exchange, Hon. Pōhiva repeatedly asked Petelō to return to the agenda, but she kept interrupting him after he confirmed the government would review the state broadcaster’s operations.
  • Pōhiva said the government was in the process of reassessing the state broadcaster’s “function and roles” and they would meet to pass a resolution for the review soon.

For more information

Pohiva declares war on TBC, declares it an obstacle and constraint on gov’t

 

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  1. ʻOku ʻikai ko ha mau fili koe”, ko hano fakahoko ange ia ʻe he faiongoongo māʻolunga ʻa e TBC kia Pōhiva ʻi he konifelenisi mo e kau faiongoongó

    Ne fakafepakiʻi e he toko taha ngāue māʻolunga he Fakamafolalea ʻa Tongá Laumanu Petelō e ʻEiki Palēmiá ʻAkilisi Pōhiva ʻi ha konifelenisi mo e kau faiongoongó he ʻaho Falaité.

    Ne fakahā ʻe Petelō ki he ʻEiki Palēmiá: “ʻOku ʻikai ko ha mau fili koe”.

    Ne meʻa ange e ʻEiki Palēmiá ke tuku ia kae hoko atu ki ha meʻa ʻe taha ka ne taliʻi mai ia ʻe Petelō o ne pehē ʻoku fiemaʻu ia ke ʻai ke mahino.

    Ne hoko atu e meʻa ia ʻa e Palēmiá ka ne toe hū mai ʻa Petelō ʻo ne tala ange kuo nau fuahia pea ʻoku ʻikai ha loto ange ia ʻo e TBC kiate ia.

    Ne pehē ʻe Petelō kuo ʻikai loto e ʻEiki Palēmiá ia ke lipooti ha meʻa ʻoku kau kovi kiate ia.

    Lolotonga ha fekihiaki lōloa mo fekeʻikeʻi ne toutou kole ʻa Pōhiva kia Petelō ke foki ki he ʻāsenitá ka ne hoko atu pe ʻene toutou fakafepakí ʻana hili ia hono fakamahino atu ʻe he Palēmiá ʻe fokotuʻutuʻu foʻou ʻe he puleʻangá e letioó.

    Pehē ʻe Pōhivá ʻoku lolotonga ngāue ʻa e puleʻangá ʻi hono toe siofi e ngāue ʻa e kautaha fakamafola leá mo honau ngaahi fatongiá pea te nau fakataha ke fai ha tuʻutuʻuni kapineti vavé ni mai ki ai.

    Ko e hisitōlia ʻo e A3Z he anga ʻene tukuʻau maí kiate au naʻe ʻikai ke sai, ko ʻene fakahā ia ki he konifelenisí.

    ʻIkai ke nau lava fakaai, poupou mo fakafaingamālieʻi e ngāue ʻa e puleʻangá he ko e koloa ʻa e puleʻangá.

    Ne ne pehē ʻoku ʻi ai e fakamoʻoni ne lele mole ʻa e A3Z peá ne ʻi ai e fuʻu moʻua ia ʻe ʻikai lava ia ke totongi fakafoki.

    Ne ne pehē ko e founga ʻenau fakamafola mo līpōtí oku ʻi ai ʻa e ʻikai tauʻatāina, fakafaʻafaʻahi mo e fakamoʻoni ʻo e loto fakapō mo e taaufehiʻa.

    ʻOku totonu ke tokoniʻi ʻe he letioó mo fakafaingofuaʻi e ngāue ʻa e puleʻangá, ko ʻene meʻá ia.

    ʻOku ʻikai ko e ʻuhinga ʻeni ke mau sivisiviʻi ʻenau meʻa kotoa ʻoku fakamafolá ka kuopau ke nau fai ia ʻi he founga totonu.

    Kapau te mou ʻeke mai kiate au anga fēfē ʻeku ʻilo e meʻa ko ʻení te u tala atu kuo fuoloa pe ʻeku fengāueʻaki mo e fakamafola leá ni.

    ʻOku ʻilo ia ʻe he taha ʻatamai lelei kotoa ʻikai ha meʻa ia ai ʻe fakapulipuli.

    Pehē ʻe he Palēmiá ʻoku ʻikai ʻuhinga ʻeni ia ke feʻauhi e letioó ia mo e ngaahi mītia palaiveití ka ke nau lava pe ʻo maʻu ha kiʻi tupu feʻunga ke tāpuni ʻenau fakamolé.

    Kaekehe ko e taimi ne maʻu faingamālie ai ʻa Petelō ke tali lolotonga e konifelenisi mo e kau faiongoongó ne ne kole ki he ʻEiki Palēmiá ke ʻoange angé ha fakatātā ʻo ʻene tukuakiʻi kinautolú.

    Ne ne pehē ʻi he fakataha fakamuimui mo e kau faiongoongó ne ui ia ʻe he ʻEiki Palēmiá ko e fefine loto tāngia.

    Ka koeʻuhi ʻoku ʻikai ke ke loto koe ki he founga ʻemau fehuʻi mo hono ʻoatu ʻa e ngaahi fehuʻi fefeka ʻoku mau tui ʻoku mahuʻinga ke ilo ki ai ʻa e kakaí, ko e lau ia ʻa Peteloó.

    ʻIkai ke u ʻita au ia, ko e tali ia ʻa e ʻEiki Palēmiá, ka ne tali mai ʻa Petelō ʻo pehē ka ne ke pehē ko e fefine loto tāngia au.

    Ko ʻetau talanoa eni ki he ngaahi moʻoniʻimeʻa, ko e tali atu ia ʻa Pōhivá ka ne taliʻi mai ʻe Petelō ʻo pehē kuó fuoloa ʻena faaifononga mai he meʻá ni pea kuó ne ʻosi ʻilo pe anga ʻene fakafehuʻi iá tautefito ki he taimi ʻokú ne ngāueʻaki ai ʻa e ngaahi fehuʻi hūhuú.

    Ne taʻofi atu ia ʻe he ʻEiki Palēmiá mo ne kole ke ʻoua te na talanoa ki ai he ʻoku nau talanoa kinautolu ki he meʻa ia ʻoku ʻikai hā sino mai.

    ʻOku ʻikai ʻilo ia ʻe taha, ka ʻoku faingofua pe ke u tala he anga e matá mo e founga hono fai ʻo e fehuʻí ʻoku ʻi ai ʻa e ʻita. Ko e anga ia ʻeku sio ki he meʻa ni. Mahalo pe lava ke u hala, ko ʻOnapolo Pōhiva ia.

    Ka ne pehē ʻe he ʻEiki Palēmiá ke nau talanoa kinautolu ki ha meʻakehe.

    Ne ʻai hake ʻe Pohiva ha līpooti ʻa e TBC kau ki he pehē ne ne tuli ha ongo fakaʻuli ʻesikaveita.

    Ka ʻi heʻene hoko atú ne ʻikai longo ʻa Petelō kae lea pe mo ia ia ʻo ne pehē ne ʻikai lāunga ange ʻa e toko ua ia ko ʻení ki ai.

    Ne kole atu e ʻEiki Palēmia ken a hiki mei ai. Meʻa laulaunoa ia, ko e meʻa ia ʻa e Palēmiá.

    Ne pehē ʻe he ʻEiki Palēmiá ne līpooti ʻe he letioó e ola e fili fakahālotó he māhina kuo ʻosí.

    Ne līpooti ʻe he fakamafolaleá e olá ʻo pehē kuo ikuna ʻa Pōhiva, ka ʻi he fakaʻosi ʻo e talanoá toe ʻai mai ʻe kinautolu ia e lau ʻa e kakai ne ʻikai ke nau loto ki he olá.

    Pehē ʻe Pōhivá ko e fakatātā totonu ʻeni ʻo e feinga ʻa e letioó ni ke tukuhifo e ola ʻo ha fili mahuʻinga.

    Ka ne toe hū mai heni ʻa Petelō ʻo ne fehuʻi ange ki he Palēmiá pe: “ʻOku kovi ia? Ne ne pehē ko e anga pe ia ʻo e ngāué ʻoku tonu ke pehē ke ʻomai e fakakaukau ʻa ha kakai kehé”.

    Ne ne pehē ʻoku ʻi ai e fatongia ʻo e kau fakaongoongo ʻa e TBC pea ʻoku fai ʻi he funga ʻo e moʻoni pe ʻenau ngāué.

    Ne pehē ʻe he ʻEiki Palēmiá ʻoku falala ʻa e puleʻangá ki he letiō ʻe tahá FM 87.5 neongo ʻoku ʻi ai pe fanga kiʻi meʻa ka ʻoku ʻalu e ngaahi pisinisi taautahá ia ʻo tuʻuaki ai.

    Ne pehē ko e fakaʻilonga mahino ia ʻa e ʻikai fai leleiʻi ʻe he TBC ʻa honau fatongiá.

    Ne pehē ʻe Petelō ʻoku ʻikai ʻoange ʻe he puleʻangá ha nau ʻinasi he patisetí pea ʻoku tauʻatāina pe ʻa e kakaí ia ko e fē ʻa e letiō te nau ngāueʻakí.

    Ka ne kole Palēmiá ke tuku ia he ʻoku ʻikai totonu ke aleaʻi ia ʻi he konifelenisí, ka ne tali atu ʻa Petelō ʻoku fiemaʻu ia ke aleaʻi heni.

    Ne meʻa ange ʻEiki Palēmiá ʻoku ʻikai ko ha ʻisiu ʻeni ia ke aleaʻi mo koe, ko e meʻa ia ke nau talanoa kinautolu ki ai mo e pule TBC pea mo e poaté.

    Ne iku pe ʻo kole fakamolemole ʻa Petelō ki he ʻEiki Palēmia ke fakamolemoleʻi ia kapau kuó ne hoko ko ha fakafaingataʻaʻia ki heʻene ngāué.

    Ne pehē ʻe he ʻEiki Palēmiá ʻoku sai pe ia ka ke fetuʻutaki ange ʻa e TBC ki he puleʻangá ke fakamaʻalaʻala ha meʻa ʻoku nau tokanga ki ai.