26 Jul 2007

Tonga newspaper dismisses government criticism over

7:56 pm on 26 July 2007

A newspaper in Tonga, run by the pro-democracy movement, has dismissed criticism from government that it is running a hate campaign against Prime Minister Doctor Feleti Sevele.

The Government is considering legal action and has approached the Media Council over what it calls very low standards of journalism.

It has taken exception to what it says was an article that added up the letters of Dr Sevele's name, coming up with 666 and inferring he was the biblical Beast or Anti Christ.

But the editor of the Kele'a, Tavake Fusimalohi, remains unapologetic.

He says it was a letter to the editor, not an article.

"I see nothing there controversial or harmful to the Prime Minister. This man [the letter writer] seemed to work out quite well by counting - it is not an article, it is a letter to the editor and I admire his thoughts and if I say, creativity, I thought it worth publishing."