World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Media Group Says New Tongan Law Unacceptable

Pacific Media Group Says New Tongan Law 'Unacceptable'

* Pacific Media Watch Online - check the website for archive and links:
* Post a comment on PMW's Right of Reply:


APIA (RNZI Online/Pacific Media Watch): The Tongan Parliament has been called on to reject laws aimed at curbing freedom of speech at a media conference in the Samoan capital, reports Radio New Zealand International.

The Pacific Island News Association (PINA) and Tonga media representatives have issued a joint statement saying they¹re gravely concerned at the government plans.

Members of Tonga¹s Legislative Assembly are to debate amendments to the constitution, which if passed, will limit the ability of the media to report freely on issues.

The president of PINA, Johnson Honimae, says this is unacceptable.

"They will impose restrictions on the media in Tonga, They're dictating what newspapers and media operators can say or report, so this would represent a severe infringement on Tonga society's inherent right to know what's been done in its name and the right of the media to inform people." - Johnson Honimae.

In a related development, the Media Operators Act became law earlier this week.

This restricts foreign ownership of the media in Tonga to 20 per cent.



PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

(c)1996-2003 Copyright - All rights reserved.

Items are provided solely for review purposes as a non-profit educational service. Copyright remains the property of the original producers as indicated. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright owner for any publishing. Copyright owners not wishing their materials to be posted by PMW please contact us. The views expressed in material listed by PMW are not necessarily the views of PMW or its members.

Recipients should rely on their own inquiries before making decisions based on material listed in PMW. Please copy appeals to PMW and acknowledge source.

For further information, inquiries about joining the Pacific Media Watch

listserve, articles for publication, and giving feedback contact Pacific

Media Watch at: E-mail: Fax: (+679) 30 5779 or (+612) 9660 1804 Mail: PO Box 9, Annandale, NSW 2038, Australia or, PO Box 78028, Auckland 1002, New Zealand. New website:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


North Korea: NZ Denounces Missile Test

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has denounced North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test. The test, which took place this morning, is North Korea’s third test flight of an inter-continental ballistic missile. More>>


Gordon Campbell: Zimbabwe - Meet The New Bosses

At 75, Mnangagwa is not exactly what you’d call a new broom. As many observers have pointed out, his track record has been one of unswerving dedication to Mugabe ever since the days of anti-colonial insurgency... To these guys, things had to change in Zimbabwe, so that things could remain the same. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC