The man, who threw a pig’s head and dog food, at Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi in Queensland Australia last year, does not regret his actions.
Speaking to the Weekend Observer at Mulinu’u yesterday, Talalelei Pauga, of Lauli’i and Manono, denied that he attacked the Prime Minister. He said his actions were instead a form of protest because he wanted Prime Minister Tuilaepa to start listening to what people are saying.
“I wanted my voice to be heard loud and clear and I wanted his attention so he can wake up and hear the people who are voiceless,” he said.
Asked why the choice of a pig’s head and dog food, Mr. Pauga said his decision was symbolic.
“My approach was on the political level and the reason why I used the pig’s head was because he called the people of my country stinking pigs,” he said.
“He also called our people dogs and all that. If you don’t have respect for my people why should I have respect for him?
“He is an arrogant man, and I have never heard a leader speak to his own people that way. He does not take advice from anyone and has no respect for the country.”
Mr. Pauga is in the country for a family matter. Asked if he would like to meet with Prime Minister Tuilaepa, he said yes.
“I would love to sit down and have a one-on-one with him. I don’t know where to find him, that’s the problem.”
Told that Prime Minister Tuilaepa’s office is at the Government building, he said: “If he gives me the opportunity, I would love to sit down with him and sort things out. I respect him as a father but I will not respect him as a leader because of how he treats the people.”
Asked why he covered his face during his “protest,” he said he didn’t.
“I didn’t cover my face, I was the one with the glasses and the hat and I showed my face and I did not hide myself. I have no fear, and I will die for my people.”
Asked if he regrets what he did, he said: “No, I am proud of what I did. I want him to hear out the voiceless, I don’t want him to rule my country and my people as a dictator.”
Told that Prime Minister cannot be a dictator because he was an elected leader in a democratic country, Mr. Pauga would not budge.
“I understand he is the leader of this country and as a leader he should not treat and talk to the people (the way he does) that is my problem with him.”
Mr. Pauga also claimed that all the charges against him, in relation to the incident in Queensland, have been dropped.
In November 2018, Prime Minister and other senior Government officials were attending the launch of Samoa Airway’s Faleolo to Brisbane flights, marking the airline’s first birthday, when the incident occurred.
Mr. Pauga said he tried to apply for a permit for his protest.
“I tried to do it the lawful way by applying for the permit but due to the short notice and that protests are not allowed at night, that’s why my permit was denied.”
It was not possible to get a comment from Prime Minister Tuilaepa yesterday.