19 Mar 2019

Minute's silence in Samoa parliament denied

4:48 pm on 19 March 2019

The speaker of Samoa's parliament has denied a motion for a minute's silence in honour of the victims of the Christchurch attacks.

Samoa PM and Police Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegoai

Samoa PM and Police Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegoai Photo: RNZ Pacific /Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

The member for Aleipata-itupa-i-lalo, Tafua Maluelue Tafua, called for a minute's silence during Tuesday's session alongside the prime minister's speech of condolences for the mosque attacks on Friday.

However the Speaker, Le'aupepe Toleafoa Fa'afisi, told parliament he felt the address by the prime minister was enough to show solidarity with New Zealand.

The killings were also an assault on Pacific island countries said Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

"We are the elected leaders of the country and it is fitting that we make this expression of condolences in solidarity with our friends in Aotearoa.

"The assassinations in New Zealand (are) also an assault on Samoa and indeed all the countries of the Pacific Island Forum," said Tuilaepa.

The attacks had again highlighted social media's role in inciting hatred among Samoans, he said.

"This has now arrived in Samoa and they use the excuse of freedom of expression to say and use illegal language that incite hatred and threaten the peace and stability of the rules of village councils," said prime minister Tuilaepa.