The Luatuanu’u Village Council yesterday moved to set the record straight with regards to a report about their visit to the Office of Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi two weeks ago.
Contrary to a report in the Samoa Observer that the village was there to seek forgiveness, two high chiefs from the village yesterday said the report was wrong.
Luatuanu’u Spokesperson, Tofete Lafaaua Tofete, the purpose of their visit was to tell Prime Minister Tuilaepa to take back what he had said about their village on national TV, radio and newspapers.
Tofete was accompanied by Luatuanu’u Village Mayor, Autu Lolesio Tauili’ili.
“We did not go to the Prime Minister’s Office to seek forgiveness,” he said. “That is not true and we want to make that crystal clear."
“He called our village dogs and we wanted him to take back his comments and issue an apology to our village.”
Tofete said the comment has caused widespread anger among Luatunu’u villagers all over the world.
According to Tofete, when they visited the Prime Minister at his office, they were referred to the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development.
“Our request to see him was denied, yet he was in his office,” said Tofete.
“Just last Thursday on 2AP, he referenced Luatuanu’u again saying that we tried to apologise, yet it was too late that the water had spilled."
“What apology is the Prime Minister talking about? We came to see him to retract his atrocious comments."
“Luatuanu’u will never be the same after we have been labeled dogs."
We are hurting as a village from such horrid comments uttered by the Prime Minister.
“And we will not back down from our complaint, we have sought an attorney and we will take the Prime Minister to Court.”
This week, the Luatuanu’u Village Council threatened to sue the Prime Minister for defamation over his use of the word “dogs” in reference to the village.
But the village’s request to file an official complaint against the Prime Minister with the Samoa Police Service has been rejected.
Attempts to get a comment from the Police and the Prime Minister were not successful at press time last night.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A story titled “Village Council seeks forgiveness from P.M.” published in the Samoa Observer of Wednesday 21 March 2018 was not correct. The story above has now established the true intention of Luatuanu’u’s visit to the Prime Minister’s Office. In light of that, we want to say that the error was inadvertently made and is regretted. We apologise to Luatuanu’u Village Council and villagers for the hurt and inconvenience caused.