A week of “fake news” and missing the opportunity for dialogue

It has been a long week in Samoa, which started with the first ever visit to the country by the Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao, and ended with a verbal tirade by the Prime Minister. Just over a week after the New Year, and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi was back to his best or worst — depending on which side of the political spectrum you sit when it comes to Samoan politics.

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Those are real Samoans. And their concerns are not “fake news”

On the front page of the Samoa Observer yesterday was an interesting photograph. Spread across the page, it showed protesters holding placards with different messages, who had gathered for two days in Apia and Faleolo.

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Why P.M. Tuilaepa’s comments are irresponsible and condescending

Here is the cold hard truth. The Government, starting from Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, should feel duty bound to ensure every living soul in Samoa has access to clean drinking water. That access must come through systems installed by the Government, and paid for by taxpayers and monies from development partners, which this country has plenty of.

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Mr. A.D.B. President Nakao, we don’t want the unborn generations of Samoa to be exiles in their own country

Samoa has started the New Year with a bang by welcoming the President of the Asian Development Bank (A.D.B.) Takehiko Nakao on his first official visit to these shores. The A.D.B., being the powerful and influential institution around the world especially where lending and development are concerned, the President’s visit is as high profile as they come.

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Govt.’s Samoa Airways plan, Florence Palamo and the question of funding

On page 2 of the Weekend Observer, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi made a wonderful announcement in relation to Samoa’s national flag carrier, Samoa Airways. A year and a few months into the Airline’s operations, the Government is moving to expand its services by acquiring much-needed additional aircraft.

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Extreme weather conditions, and the need to be smart about it in Samoa

Tropical Cyclone Mona in Fiji, severe flooding in the Solomon Islands, flash floods in Papua New Guinea, unseasonal storms in Kiribati and Marshall Islands, and heavy rains and strong wind in Samoa — we have entered 2019 with uncertainty and a cause for concern at the impact of these extreme weather on the lives of the people.

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Inflight death, Savai’i tragedies and mourning at Luatuanu’u

This much is undeniable. The festive season has been a bit of a mixed bag in terms of stories of joy and sadness. While there has been a lot to celebrate, the past couple of weeks have also been marred by some extremely tragic occurrences. Events that should make us appreciate the gift of life, and how we are today able to share it with others we love.

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Elections, fake news and what our leaders can do

Now that the Christmas festivities are behind us and the New Year is well and truly underway as we knew it would, it’s time to get back to those wonderful problems that are existing gleefully as if to remind us that there is much work to be done.

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Education and saving the planet, and saving lives!

Just four days into the New Year and events in the last couple of days should give you an indication of another busy year ahead for the education sector.

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The New Year, celebrations in Samoa and questions of our time

Three days into 2019, one can say that this nation – and perhaps many other nations - are nursing a massive hang over from the Festive Season celebrations. It’s something that is unlikely to be fully cured until next week. Which is expected of course.

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Happy New Year, Samoa!

Well here we are today on the last day of 2018 Samoa. What a year it has been. As we reflect on the past 12 months, we rejoice in many gloriously wonderful moments, we remember with sadness the tough times and some extremely tragic events that have unfolded before us.

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Crimes targeting Chinese and other races sad, sad development. Stop it please!

The headline “Chief Justice alarmed at crime targeting Chinese” published on the front page of this newspaper earlier this month raised eyebrows. Not only was it concerning that crime has become a major issue in Samoa, the idea that certain criminals are picking their targets based on race and ethnicity, is extremely frightening. We cannot ignore it.

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Armed robbery, drunks on the road and evil in times of joy

This much is undeniable. Wherever there is good, evil will be lurking around the corner looking for an opportunity to strike. And in happy times like the festive season, it’s a given that there will always be sour experiences.

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Another salary increase for the Government? What about the rest of Samoa?

The last Parliament session for the year on Monday was very short. As if the cancellation of the session prior to the final sitting of the year was not concerning enough in as far as Parliament’s workload goes, there was obviously no rush from the Speaker of the House, Leaupepe Toleafoa Faafisi and the Government to get on with their work – the ones that require them to perform in session.

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The January 1 plastic ban, and doing your bit to save the planet

We are only four days away from bringing down the curtain on what has been a challenging yet exciting year. And we could not help but notice that Samoa is only four days away, from bringing into effect a nationwide ban, on the use of single plastic bags and straws.

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Think peace, calm and hope. That’s what Christmas is about

What is the reason for the season? Is it gifts? Parties? Family gatherings? Holidays? The birth of Jesus Christ the saviour? None of these answers are wrong. Depending on whom you ask, all of us will have different answers.

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“If anything, (Oscar) is convicted for being a qualified profession because he is my son” – P.M. Tuilaepa

Poor Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi. He cannot win this one. As if being an easy target for criticisms for his administration is not enough, his Government’s newest appointment, that of the Chief Executive Officer role of the Ministry of Finance, will only make things even more complicated.

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Thinking safety amidst this beautiful chaos

This is an extremely busy time of the year. Beautiful chaos. There is absolutely no doubt about it. What with Christmas a few days away and so many joyful events taking place all over the country – not to mention the last minute Christmas shopping rush - everyone has their hands full.

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Alleged slavery? Human trafficking? Surely not in Samoa!

Let’s face it. Claims of human trafficking and slavery are not the sort of allegations you’d normally associate with this country, let alone someone from this part of the world. The truth is that when these terms are mentioned and thrown around, the mind immediately conjures up images of immigrants in South America, Asia and the Middle East among other places, who are trying to seek refuge from poverty, famine and war.

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A “made in Samoa” solution to abuse of social media perhaps?

Two interesting developments in relation to the use or the abuse of social media have emerged this week. The developments are not only a timely intervention, they are absolutely necessary as a reminder to all of us that freedom of opinion and information has its limitations and must be exercised with great care.

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Letters to the Editor

Issues about the by-laws of the H.R.P.P.

Dear Editor, The current case between Laauli Leauatea Polataivao and his own political party (H.R.P.P.) reveals some shocking discoveries of real issues about the by-laws of the H.R.P.P.

Street Talk

Gregory Ah Sam, 34

Mixed reaction from public to electricity price increase

The Electric Power Corporation on Monday announced a $0.09 sene increase in the price of electricity effective from March 1. The EPC said the increase applies to all domestic and non-domestic users for cash power and induction meter users. Reporter Soli Wilson meets members of the public to get their views on the increase.

Think a Minute

Better with age

Think a minute…Recently a 102-year-old woman was playing a game of golf. On a 100-yard long hole she thought she had lost her ball, only to discover she had hit it straight into the cup. A record hole-in-one by a 102-year-old woman! Who says we don’t get better with age!

Columns

Waste: Why the individuals are not the ones to blame

There tends to be accusatory tones whenever we talk about people who throw away plastic bags, straws or any other disposable plastic products in public places.

Between the Lines

A hungry thief. Your house might be next

A prominent member of the community had his house broken into where the thief ransacked it looking for valuables to take.

Sunday Reading

Alpha Cafe and Chemist owners Nataivai Siitia and her husband Junior Siitia.

A café and a pharmacy - service with a difference

The Alpha Café and Chemist is not your everyday kind of pharmacy – it offers a service with a difference and is within the vicinity of the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital at Motootua.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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