Implication of “foul play” says director, as photos show suspicious rope tied to internet cable 

‘Oku ‘i ai e hu’uhu’u ne fai hono maumau’i e keipolo ‘initaneti ‘a Tonga’ pea kuo fakapapau’i ne ma’u ha maea kuo no’o ki he taha ‘o e ngaahi motu ne hoko ki he keipolo fakavaha’apule’anga’ mo e keipolo fakalotofonua’. ‘Oku kei fakatotolo’i ke ma’u ‘a e tupu’anga totonu’ mo e hā ‘a e maea kuo no’o’ ni, ka ‘oku pehē ‘e he Talēkita Paula Piveni Piukala ko ‘ene tu’u he taimi ni’ kuo tuhu kotoa pe ‘a e fakatotolo kuo fai’ ngali ne ‘i ai ‘a e fa’ufa’u ke fakahoko ha hia he me’a’ ni.

A director at Tonga Cable Ltd said photos taken at the site of the damage to the kingdom’s international and domestic submarine internet cables appeared to show the break was not accidental.

Speaking to Kaniva news this afternoon, director Paula Piveni Piukala said he could not rule out “foul play” as the reason the cable broke and plunged the kingdom into a virtual internet blackout for almost two weeks.

People were unable to make international phone calls after January 20.

Photos obtained by Kaniva news show what appears to be a pink coloured rope tied to what looked like broken internet cables.

Piukala confirmed the photos were taken at the site where damage to the international and domestic submarine internet cables was located last week.

“Io koe ta koena meihe maumau he cable,” he said in Tongan.

In English this translates as “Yes, those photos were from where damage to the cable occurred.”

Asked to tell us what conclusions he drew from the photos, Piukala appeared to be baffled by the situation.

“Koe natula oe maumau oku tuhu pe kihe sabotaged pe koe foul play,” he said.

This translates into English as: “The nature of the damage points to sabotage (sic) or foul play.”

He said he believed the damage was not due to “negligence or an act of nature. The only other cause left is sabotage or mana faka’otua (godly miracle).”

“As much as we don’t like it to be but we can’t look away from possible sabotage,” he told us this afternoon.

He said an investigation was still underway to find out the exact cause of the problem.

Kaniva news understands Tonga Cable was expecting a final report from experts who were working on board the cable vessel Reliance to find out the cause of the damage.

The first part of the cable where the damage occurred was lying at a depth of 15-17 metres, Piukala said.

He said the pink rope in the photos was found about 7.7 km from the cable’s base in Sopu.

A second break was found about 14.1 km from the base.

Tongan Cable authorities previously said they thought a large ship had caused the damage by dragging an anchor along the seabed.

Before that, Tonga Cable said in a statement the fault was apparently caused by a “magnetic storm” and “lightning.”

The main points

  • A director at Tonga Cable Ltd said photos taken at the site of the damage to the kingdom’s international and domestic submarine internet cables appeared to show the break was not accidental.
  • Speaking to Kaniva news this afternoon, director Paula Piveni Piukala said he could not rule out “foul play” as the reason the cable broke and plunged the kingdom into a virtual internet blackout for almost two weeks.

For more information

Internet restored after two weeks of outage

2 COMMENTS

  1. Kapau ‘oku ‘iai ha ‘Navy Seal’ ‘a Tonga. Ko kinautolu pe ‘oku poto he uku ‘o ha’i e maea he uaea ‘cable’ I kilisitahii. ‘Oku nau ‘osi ako lelei. kihe ngaahi ngaue pehenii. He ‘ikai lava ia ‘ehe toke, ‘angaa, moe alii ‘o ha’i pehe’i ha maea ‘i kilisitahi. ‘Oku nau ma’u foki moe ngaahi naunau uku vaka etc ke fai ‘aki e ngaue peheni, mo ako lelei kiai. Kapau ‘oku nau ‘ita mo ta’efiemalie kiha me’a. vakai’i atu foki kau tama ko’enii.

    • Poupou atu ki he lau ‘a e Koila Polisi Malolo ‘a Tonga, mo e Polisi Malolo ‘a e Tauhi Lekooti ‘a e ‘Api Polisi San Francisco. Fielau he ko e ka’ate motu’a. Fkmalo atu ki he poupou ‘a hoku kaunga ngaue ‘Apiako Polisi Fo’ou, Police Training School, Saia Fonongaloa.

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