P.M. orders A.G.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has ordered Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff, to “take action” against people whom they suspect are behind the “Ole Palemia” blog.

“I have directed the A.G. to take action against those people behind it,” he told the Sunday Samoan. “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.

Attempts to get a comment from Attorney General Lemalu were unsuccessful. Questions emailed to him have not been responded to. 

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

A day later, another page had emerged.

According to 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 corporatize 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 modernized 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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