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The shift of journalists out of TBC's newsroom is unlawful says lawyer Featured

Viola Ulakai and Laumanu Petelo Viola Ulakai and Laumanu Petelo

19 October, 2017. The lawyer for two Tongan journalists says their shift out of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission's newsroom is unlawful.

The public broadcaster's chair Tu'i Uata has begun his tenure by moving editor Laumanu Petelo and news manager Viola Ulakai into the marketing department.

Both journalists had run-ins this year with the prime minister 'Akilisi Pohiva who called the TBC an enemy of government because of its critical coverage.

Mr Uata said the move was because the TBC was running at a loss and its content was unpopular.

But the journalists' lawyer, Clive Edwards, said it was a political move which had broken the law, particularly in the case of Ms Ulakai.

"They've got a contract. They've eliminated that and assigned her to something totally inexplicable insofar as to what is required of her.

In other words, they have just removed her. In effect what they are doing is removing her from her job so the way can be clear for the chairman to take over. "

Mr Edwards said he was preparing breach of contract proceedings for the women.

-RNZI

4 comments

  • Nuanga
    Nuanga Wednesday, 25 October 2017 08:53 Comment Link

    A graduate teacher came to a school in Tonga majoring Bio/Chem after 12 years she was asked if she can do English as well. What a perfect match. After sometimes she started to love English. Currently a PhD in literacy. Viola and Laumanu can be the same. To Viola and Laumanu you are in needs in various departments, your potential and skills. can bring the trusts of the people and the popularity of TBC. STOP SELF CENTERED.

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  • Fifita
    Fifita Tuesday, 24 October 2017 11:46 Comment Link

    Kuo a'u ki ha tu'unga kuo fai e feinga ke tapuni'i pea taki popula'i e taha e ngaahi 'elemeniti mahu'inga 'o ha fa'unga temokalati 'a ia ko e media..."The task of the media in a democracy is not to ease the path of those who govern, but to make life difficult for them by constant vigilance as to how they exercise the power they only hold in trust from the people.."...Journalist are supposed to be the CHECK and BALANCE on government holding those in power accountable but not to be their megaphone...me'apango kuo feinga faka'uhinga'aki e me'a fakapa'anga e ngaahi taumu'a fakapolitikale 'a e PM..Ko eni kuo kamata ke nau ala atu ki he social media ( FACEBOOK ) ke fakatotolo'i pea fakamanamana'i e kakai 'oku nau comment mo fakafepaki ki he PM mo hono pule'anga pea kuo kamata ia 'e he MInisita Polisi he'ene ngaue'aki hono mafai ke fakatotolo'i e kakai he social media...ko e fa'ahinga naunau mo e 'asenita eni ne ngaue'aki he kau pule fakatikitato he hisitolia 'o mamani.. Hitler,Stalin etc ...IS THIS THE DEMOCRACY THAT TONGA WANTED?.. mahalo kapau na'e a'u 'enau mafai ki he FACEBOOK kuo tu'utu'uni ke tapuni mo ia...

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  • Talofa
    Talofa Monday, 23 October 2017 12:46 Comment Link

    Mr. Uata is the chairman of the board, does he has authority to personally exercise that decision?

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  • Siale H Ofafonua
    Siale H Ofafonua Friday, 20 October 2017 12:32 Comment Link

    Malie Dr. "Shipwreck" Tu'i Uata. Ko e ha kuo ke loi ai kake tala e mo;oni ko e'uhinga ho'o kaunoa he a3Z keke tau'ataina hono fakamafola e ngaahi polokalama fakapolitikale mo lau kia hai mo hai on behalf of the caretaker PM/govt. Ko e ha ho'o me'a 'oku 'ilo ki he broadcasting pe fakalele e Letio/Tv keke leanoa ai ki he ngahi polokalama 'oku fie fanongo kiai e kakai e fonua mo muli foki. Ko ho'o tala e mole e Letio/Tv he kuo ke 'ilo kanokato ki he founga fakalele e kautaha he koe na 'ikai keke lava fklele ho'o kautaha vaka kuo 'ikai ha toe vaka 'e lele. Kapau ne mo'oni ho'o concern he mo'ui fakapa'aga koe mo'oni koaa e news kuo 'omai he ongoongo hono toe fakatokolahiatu e kau talekita e Poate ko MR. Hoponoa mei he mala'e e mental health? ME'a ifo ko ho'omou ma'u ho'o mou vahe fakamahina mo e ngaahi fees he ngaahi fakataha poate kuo tu'o 5 ia he mahina 'omou toutou vahe aipe. Malie TBC A3z e lele mole kae kei ma'u kakato pe vahe 'a Dr. "Shipwreck" Tu'i Uata moe kau poate 'e took 5 kehe, vahe kaungaue, totongi e ngaahi mo'ua, etc. ME'a ni teke lava 'o declare ho;o haohaoa mei he ngaahi tukuakii 'oku fakapolitikale 'a hono fili ko e 'e he caretaker govt keke takeoiver ta;efklao e TBC keke manipulate mo abuse what program goes to air? Please, please, please try and help TBC instead of wrecking it like your fleet of expired ships. Otherwise, please get away ASAP from TBC as we had known you from how you used and abused TV OBN that led to the riots almost 11 years ago. GOD PLEASE SAVE TONGA AND TBC.

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