31 Jul 2007

Tongan government criticises Kele'a newspaper over editorial

2:45 pm on 31 July 2007

The Tongan government is again criticising the Kele'a newspaper for what it claims is a hate campaign against the prime minister, Dr Fred Sevele, and the government.

It says calls by the Kele'a for a protest march in October to coincide with the Pacific Islands Forum summit in Nuku'alofa is inciting its readers to commit seditious acts.

The government media release also says the editorial, which was written in Tongan, includes language which describes the prime minister and the king as using arrogant, ruthless and repressive tactics.

This is rejected by the paper's editor, Tavake Fusimalohi, who says that's overstating or exaggerating the language when arrogant was the term used.

"We criticise the policies, not particularly the person. The policies, when people are dissatisfied with the policies, they have to point at the person, right? They point at the government and who heads the government is Fred Sevele."

Tavake Fusimalohi