AUCKLAND (Pacific Media Watch / Fairfax NZ): A prominent TV editor in Fiji has been forced to quit after he complained on air that the daughter of the country's regime leader was playing music too loud.
Fiji TV said yesterday sports editor Satish Narayan had resigned after an incident this year when he was reporting on high school athletics in Suva.
The athletics event was run by the Fiji Sports Council, which is headed by Litiana Loabuka, eldest daughter of coup leader Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, according to Fairfax's Michael Field.
Narayan on air criticised the loud music that was being played on the PA system during races, saying "CEO Litiana should do something about it".
Fiji media sources said she complained to her father, who then told Fiji TV chief executive officer Tarun Patel that the editor should go or the station would lose its licence.
The Fiji Sun reported today that "Narayan tendered his resignation over a case that was reported to the Media Tribunal" regarding the athletics.
Fiji's Media Tribunal has draconian powers to close down or heavily fine offenders.
Anti-regime blog Coupfourpointfive alleges Narayan apologised on air for his comment and that Loabuka also made her father ban Fiji TV from all sports venues in the country.
That was "not enought to satisfy her wounded feelings," the blog claimed, and Narayan was subsequently forced to resign.
It is not the first time Bainimarama has reacted severely against Fiji TV.
In January last year, the station ran a phone text popularity contest and reported that the head of the country's consumer council, Premila Kumar, was the most popular person in the country.
Bainimarama, who came second, ordered authorities to conduct a recount of the phone texts and declared him the winner. However, it was later revealed that hundreds of texts in favour of Bainimarama had come from two phones.
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