The Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC) condemned in the strongest term an article by Alfred Sasako carried in the Island Sun, which falsely claimed that members of Solomon Islands delegation who recently visited Indonesia were given envelopes containing money.
His latest claim that the delegation was bribed was another fabrication or bad journalism at its best.
“We challenge Sasako to provide evidence for his ridiculous claims,” the statement, said.
The OPMC statement said that Mr Sasako needs to stop telling lies for his own benefit and he must be reminded to practice responsible journalism.
“It is normal for all irresponsible journalists like Sasako to use the word ‘sources’ without providing hard evidence to prove his claims. In fact, this is the normal trend used by all lousy journalists to try and influence public opinion,” the statement said.
On the same note, the OPMC has condemned both local newspapers for aiding Mr Sasako who is becoming their main source of false information.
“It’s becoming a habit and a new trend practiced in the local media to run stories without consulting the Office of the Prime Minister for their side of the story and this is irresponsible journalism which clearly indicates the anti-government campaign set by the local media.”
On the same note, the OPMC has stated that Mr. Sasako’s allegation in the media that the Prime Minister has appointed Walter Kola as the new Police Commissioner is not only irresponsible and defamatory, but totally interferes with the process set out under section 43 of the Constitution.
“This has affected the candidates and will no doubt affect the authorities vested with the responsibility to make the decision. Under the Constitution, the Police Commissioner is appointed by the Governor General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister tendered after the Prime Minister has consulted the Police and Prisons Service Commission,” the statement said.
The OPMC said Sasako’s tactic is quite simple and that is he falsely accuses the Prime Minister of appointing a certain individual in order to create negativity to this candidate whilst leaving the others in a positive light.
“By doing that questions will be raised about the winning candidate, regardless of the outcome; this is exactly why the process is protected,” the statement said.
“Sasako’s ploy is clear from his admission on Facebook that “our voice has gone out loud and clear and my guess we have won.”
The statement said everyone has a right to their opinion on preferences, but no one has the right to use falsehood to influence the decision outside the lawful processes.
“This act is clearly irresponsible for a leader and veteran journalist like Sasako.”
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has already demanded an apology from the newspapers failing which he will file for defamation case against Sasako, Solomon Star and Island Sun.
Press Release, Government Communications Unit (GCU)