28 Jul 2005

Tonga TV channel claims government threatened to bulldoze premises

2:00 pm on 28 July 2005

A private TV channel in Tonga claims its power supply was deliberately cut last night ahead of a planned broadcast of a statement by the interim Public Servants Association.

Civil servants have been staging a series of demonstrations over pay rises, and the government has promised to look into the claims.

The general manager of the Oceania Broadcasting Network, Sangster Saulala, says he was phoned up by the Crown Prince partner, Joseph Ramanlal.

Mr Saulala says Mr Ramanlal told him to stop broadcasting anti-government views, or his premises would be bulldozed.

"They tried before to stop it, but I still believe in the right of the people to know what's going on in the country and the government, and the corruption of the leaders, so he, I think they were a bit upset with me, so he just called me and said they would bulldoze everything down."