Child protection and taking care of our vulnerable ones

It is perhaps not a coincidence that a non-government organisation recently held a workshop on child protection, as Samoa begins the countdown to White Sunday celebrations this weekend. The Wellbeing and Community Solutions (WCS) ran a workshop to introduce “child protection case management” systems.

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Now that P.M. Tuilaepa has spoken, what next?

A few weeks ago, the awarding of a multi-million-tala contract to a senior Associate Minister raised many eyebrows so that everyone who cared enough about the principles of transparency, accountability and good governance stopped and took a closer look.

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Samoa’s one-state party Parliament’s half a day session

Parliament’s session yesterday was quite quick. If you blinked you would’ve missed it. That’s not a joke by the way. You see after not having a session since June when they only convened to pass the 2018/2019 Budget, if you were hoping for a decent debate on a number of issues and the Bills tabled yesterday, you would have been disappointed. And rightly so.

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On Teachers’ Day today, let the Government be reminded it should put money where its mouth is

Today in Samoa is a very special day. Teachers’ Day is being marked throughout the country by different programmes and activities involving students and members of the community. The events today are the culmination of a host of activities dedicated to honouring teachers in Samoa for the past week.

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It’s better we err on the side of caution

An issue of critical importance, especially in relation to the protection of young girls, has been raised this week. It has naturally sent out a wave of panic across the nation. The truth is that we really don’t know enough to draw any conclusions at this stage. What we do know is that the alarm had been raised on social media by concerned members of the public until Tuesday night when the Police announced they have launched an investigation into claims of an alleged abduction attempt.

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How exactly have these multi-million -tala projects improved lives?

Here’s a question. Why is it that after all these multi-million-tala projects by the Government, which always and usually promise improved and cheaper services, and yet we hardly see a difference? Let’s look at basic utilities for instance, particularly electricity.

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Perhaps it’s time for P.M. Tuilaepa to come home to control his “kids”

And so the soap opera called the Samoa Rugby Union’s selection dilemma keeps on giving. Like a water spring that cannot be stemmed, the Union’s problems keep finding its way into the public arena so that we are all left wondering when this madness will finally end.

795 Hits

The Human Development Index, Samoa and sustainable tourism

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released its Human Development Index (HDI) a couple of days ago, heralding progress in Samoa, Fiji, Palau and Tonga due to their ability to maintain their positions in the High Human Development category.

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Golf, conflict of interest, New York and the persecution of Christians in China

Well it’s been an interesting week. Judging from the stories on the pages of this newspaper; there is never really a dull moment in this slice of paradise we call home. The good, the bad and ugly, you name it we have it all.

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Thank you Samoa’s hard working public servants

The annual Public Service day was celebrated yesterday. But unlike previous years where there is usually a big parade along Beach Road with the Public Service Awards ceremony to follow, yesterday was a little different. The celebration was a lot more subdued in the sense it was more in-house.

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An ant can’t compete with an elephant. What is the Government doing to small farmers?

Here’s a fact. The majority of families in Samoa identify themselves as subsistent farmers. For all of them, their humble plantations, banana patch or vegetable garden is not only their source of daily sustenance – it is also their only income stream. In the absence of much-needed formal employment opportunities in this nation, this is what their survival depends upon. In essence, it’s their bread and butter.

364 Hits

Leeches? Time to move on

The truth is simple enough. The public outrage among the Pacific community all over the world following Heather du Plessis-Allan’s “leeches” attack on Pacific countries is justified. It is not okay for anyone to abuse a privileged position in the media to demean and insult anyone else – or in this case an entire group of people – for whatever reason.

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Senior politicians and the issue of conflict of interest

Two weeks ago, a story titled “$3.57 million contract awarded for new airport” was published on the front page of the Sunday Samoan. It certainly raised a few eyebrows. Firstly, very little has been said about the Tia’vea Airport project, certainly from the Government that is.

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An independent judiciary absolutely critical

We live in an interesting time, one defined by countless challenges which require every member of our society, to step up to do their part. Everyone has a role to play. Whether you’re the Head of State, Prime Minister, Church Minister, matai or just an ordinary villager, each and everyone of us has a responsibility to make this a better place to live.

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Let’s give changes at the Rugby Union a chance

And so the Manu Samoa has new Coach. Last week, the Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U.) announced the appointment of Steve Jackson as the man to take the national team to the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year, barring a disaster of epic proportion of course.

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Tiavea Airport. Is this a repeat of the failure that is the Satitoa Wharf?

What is going on in Samoa today? What is with the Government’s obsession for these multi-million-tala projects we know will only end up being white elephants, while many poor people of this country continue to suffer from poverty and untold hardship?

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Nothing but the truth

It was only yesterday when the Samoa Observer ran a front page story, which quoted a politician and a cabinet minister admitting that he was wrong, in assuming that a Chief Executive Officer had been terminated.

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A loophole? Corruption? Or both?

Businessman Va’atuitui Apete Meredith has a legitimate point. It’s something the Government, especially the Ministry of Revenue and Liqour Board, and all the relevant authorities should investigate and take the necessary action with the idea of righting this wrong.

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Election talks, outstanding taxes and that helicopter

It’s a rare story but it’s true. Days before the General Election in March 2016, the Government couldn’t contain its excitement about a certain company that had mysteriously moved from Tonga to Samoa.

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Banning plastic to save our island communities

It will only be a matter of time before fishermen in Samoa catch fish with plastic in the stomach or see marine animals get trapped in abandoned plastic fishing nets. Last month 300 sea turtles were reportedly found dead off the coast of Mexico, with experts suspecting toxic algae attached to abandoned fishing nets or asphyxiation (the act of depriving something or someone of air).

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Letters to the Editor

Two new cases of H.I.V. detected

Samoa needs to hold free sex education programmes on safe sex and make condoms available for free so people can protect themselves. We can’t stop people from doing what they are doing but we can educate people on making the right choices so they can protect themselves.

Street Talk

Aotoa Peter, 33

Public condemn attempted attack on P.M. Tuilaepa

Attempts by two unidentified men, who tried to attack Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi in Brisbane, Australia on Wednesday night has shocked the nation and triggered condemnation from various fronts. Our reporter Yolanda Lavata’i speaks to the public to get their views on the issue.

Think a Minute

True colors

Think a minute…This is a true story about a talented girl named Mary. She was 14-years-old when she started taking singing lessons. Later she traveled from city to city as a performer. She married a newspaperman, but their marriage did not last. In fact, neither did Mary’s second marriage, nor even her third.

Columns

It’s about kinship, love, remorse and forgiveness

I want to share a reflection on suicide by quoting from a speech I made in 2002 because it is relevant and topical. Rituals also express meaning, nuance and metaphor. During (former) Prime Minister’s Helen Clark’s wreathe presentation at Tamasese’s grave, 4 June 2002, Lufi Falefa and Salani could have chanted the funeral chants, the birth chants, the war chants, the victory chants.

Between the Lines

BETWEEN THE LINES

P.M. on Church leaders It seems Prime Minister Tuilaepa can’t leave members of clergy alone. During a radio programme last week, he had plenty to say about Church Ministers. For instance, he reminded them that Church Ministers were only taught on spiritual matters, not on Economics.

Sunday Reading

Myths and Legends of the Ancient World

The spears flew towards the youth on the hill, whistling as they cut through the air. Grinning, Queen Medb’s general drew his sword, eager to take back to his Queen the head of this warrior whom they called the Hound of Ulster. He had no doubt his spears would find their mark.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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