Vanuatu PM Plans Police Complaint Over ‘Seditious’ Comments

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Carcasses considers letting media deal with journalist Tiona

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 13, 2013) – Prime Minister Moana Carcasses says he is prepared to have the media in the country deal with the matter regarding journalist Gratien Tiona.

He made the comment in a press conference with the local and overseas media in his office Friday morning.

Last week police arrested Tiona and detained him overnight over comments he made on Facebook which are reported to be seditious.

Speaking Friday morning Carcasses again confirmed he will make an official complaint to the police against Tiona over comments he made in the Facebook group forum Yumi Toktok Straight (straight talk) stating that he prayed the plane carrying the cabinet and government officials from the Torba Council of Ministers meeting crashed.

He added however that he had been discussing the seriousness of the matter with some ministers and senior government officials and also the possibility of having the media deal with the journalist.

The prime minister said he was ready to meet with authorities of the local media to discuss handing the matter to them if they can adequately deal with the issue.

He has requested the Government’s Public Relations Officer, Letty Williams, to organize a meeting with the President of the Media Association of Vanuatu, Evelyne Toa, the President of the Pacific Islands News Association, Moses Stevens – a staff of Capitol FM107 and the Vanuatu Times newspaper, and the Publisher of the Daily Post newspaper, who last week attended a meeting in the Solomon Islands together with Stevens.

At this meeting it was agreed to have a Media Ombudsman for the region whose responsibility will include dealing with issues such as the one with veteran journalist Gratien Tiona.

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