22 Oct 2009

Togiola clarifies opposition to American Samoa airlift

1:49 pm on 22 October 2009

American Samoa's Governor, Togiola Tulafono, is defending his refusal to request an airlift of relief supplies for American Samoa collected by the Samoan communities in South California.

Relief organisers lodged a petition calling on the governor to request the Federal Emergency Management Agency for an airlift so that the donations could be sent to the territory as quickly as possible.

But the Governor says the cost of the plane would have been about 300,000 US dollars.

Governor Togiola also says he unsure of what was collected.

"I cannot certify to FEMA that these are emergencies supplies and that means that I would have to lie in order to make the certification, and I'm not going to lie about it."

American Samoa's Governor, Togiola Tulafono.