28 Aug 2002

Fiji senator criticised for outburst over Fiji media

10:45 am on 28 August 2002

A Fiji government senator and former Methodist Church president who described the Fiji Times newspaper and Fiji One Television as agents of evil has come under scathing attack.

The Fiji Media Council says Senator Tomasi Kanailagi's statements in the Upper House do not demonstrate the kind of leadership that the people of Fiji except from members of such august bodies.

The council chairman, Daryl Tarte, says Mr Kanailagi should voice his disagreements with the way an issue is reported through proper procedures.

Mr Tarte says to make general accusations about agents of evil within the privileged environment of a parliamentary chamber is not only unethical but inflammatory and quite preposterous.

The leader of the United General Party, Mick Beddoes, says Senator Kanailagi's statements are without merit and were made by someone promoting the work of the devil, not the former head of the church.

A Labour party senator, Ponipate Lesavua, has told the Upper House, Mr Kanailagi is a force for evil himself, masquerading as a man of God.