Silence on P.M.’s order

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff, is remaining tightlipped about being ordered by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi to take action against people whom the government suspect are behind the Ole Palemia blog.

Repeated attempts to get an interview – including a visit to his Office – have not been responded to. 

Emails sent to him have also not been replied to.

Last week, Tuilaepa told the Weekend Observer that a directive has been issued to the Attorney General. 

As of yesterday, the Weekend Observer sent three emails to Lemalu and followed up with phone calls, however there has been no response. 

We also asked for an appointment to meet the A.G. at his office.

 Lemalu’s Secretary said: 

“I will follow up with the A.G. upon his return from meetings and let you know whether he wants to meet face to face or maybe a phone call.” 

Last week, Tuilaepa said: “I have directed the A.G. to take action against those people behind it. 

“Remember I told you nothing is hidden in this world. I have said that to you more than once.”

The Prime Minister would not say what action he has ordered the Attorney General to take.

Nor would he name the people, whom the Attorney General will take action against. He also declined to say how many people are involved.

The Ole Palemia blog and Facebook page has been the subject of a Government-led hunt to identify the people behind it. Last week the page was removed by Facebook because it was in violation of their Community Standards policy. This was confirmed through a notification by Facebook to its members. 

On the same day, another page had emerged.

As reported earlier, Prime Minister Tuilaepa, Facebook, Twitter and all other social media platforms are technological tools the Government promotes. 

“This is all part of the government’s development,” he said. 

“I remember the time when we decided to corporatise the telecommunication in 1999 and we had much opposition from the people and top management of the ministry. 

“If you had read my book, I had to put in two Ministers to try and modernize informational technology and they failed.

“So what did I do? I decided to appoint myself as Minister of I.T. and carried out what I had wanted them to do myself and they didn’t.” 

Tuilaepa said a Bill was created for the separation of I.T. which started off the Samoa telecommunications and another project that led Digicel into Samoa. 

“When the internet connection expanded for the development of the country and what happened, those who are off in the head used the technology in the wrong way,” he said. 

“They used it as a platform to use vulgar language and defame people, yet it was part of the Government’s initiative to serve the people with their communication needs.” 

Referring to Facebook, the Prime Minister said the social network has standards.

“If they (Facebook) have found that these people have used it on purposes that are completely contrary to the goals for this technology for use, what we can expect, that is the action they will take.” 

Asked whether the Government has considered blocking Facebook, Tuilaepa said “all options are open”.

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