Govt. knows identity of O Le Palemia – Afamasaga

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia - Ah Tong, 18 April 2019

The Government knows the identities of the bloggers behind the anonymous social media page O Le Palemia, but peace and harmony in the community is more important than pursuing them. 

So says the Minister of Communications Information and Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupai, in an interview with the Samoa Observer. 

Afamasaga confirmed the Government is aware of the bloggers behind the page but keeping the peace is more important than revealing the suspects. 

“I think all the bloggers behind O.L.P. is known but you have to consider peace and harmony of this country,” he said.

“A lot of bad things are said about people on the platform like O.L.P. and others and its causing unrest and causing violence. If we end up publicising these names, who knows someone might get killed.”

The O.L.P. is a social media page which has published multiple allegations of corruption against a number of Government officials including the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers.  

Afamasaga pointed out a lot of people have been hurt by the allegations published on the social media page and it is a concern.

“The Government is aware of them (behind O.L.P.) and we are in touch with Facebook who are helping Police and Attorney General with their investigation. 

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“I can say that a lot of bloggers have been identified but what can we do. We do not want anything to happen in this country like what has happened in New Zealand.” 

The Minister declined to give names or any details in relation to the suspected bloggers and their investigations. 

However, he made it clear that the Government has better things to worry about than wasting time on O.L.P. 

“We don’t want to waste our energy on things like that. We want to focus on developments and serve the people we are here to serve. We don’t want to waste our time on negative things…focus on what is positive and moving forward on what is good for our country.” 

The Minister said the Government will continue to publicise its work and developments to counter unfounded claims made by the anonymous social media page. 

While authorities cannot control what people should believe in, Afamasaga maintained that the Government is here to tell the truth and cannot publicise misleading information. 

The hunt for the bloggers started a few years ago after numerous accusations were against the Prime Minister and other public figures.

As for concerns about people who use social media to attack others, the Minister said it cannot be controlled. 

“I think it’s the person and their own environment and whether they are educated,” he said. 

“There are people you will try to make them understand but have just switched off that part of hearing anything else than what they believe in. But we keep reminding parents to educate and manage the use of cell phone for their children and to control the language coming out from the community.”

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia - Ah Tong, 18 April 2019

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