“We have to apply common sense. This was my decision although it is not in line with the law” – Minister Tialavea

On the front page of the Sunday Samoan of 14 October 2018, the headline read: “Govt. can assist cash-strapped firms.” The story referred to a Government policy that allows certain companies to pay their import duty after 30 days – but only if they pay 50 per cent of the tax upfront.

260 Hits

Well done, Samoa A! Now why has not one of them made the Manu Samoa?

At long last there is some positive news on the rugby front. We are talking about Samoa A’s well deserved victory at the Americas Pacific Rugby Challenge at the Estadio Charrua in Montevideo. The win is great for rugby in Samoa, especially for the controversy-prone Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U.) which desperately needed some positive news to break their way after what’s been unfolding publically lately.

591 Hits

Taking a breather on China’s Belt and Road Initiative

China’s Belt and Road Initiative has got the leadership of some Pacific Island nations excited since it was first proposed by China under President Xi Jinping in 2013. The Belt and Road Initiative is an ambitious plan by China to link Asia, Europe and Africa with a network of ports, highways and railways and it is giving tens of billions of dollars in loans to countries, in a bid to build major infrastructure development projects in the various participating nations in central Asia, Europe and the Indo-Pacific region.

539 Hits

Bullying tactics, church, desperation and hypocrites

And so it continues. The war between Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s Government and the church, especially the biggest denomination on the land, the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.) over taxes has taken another ugly turn.

1483 Hits

Alcohol-related death and Tala Vou the unsung hero

It’s been a sad week for a number of reasons. While the countdown to tomorrow’s nationwide White Sunday celebration is no doubt keeping most of us preoccupied, the loss of precious lives through vile acts of crime and the unforgiving nature of the ocean hurts deeply, especially if you are related to a couple of men whose journey have been ended unexpectedly this week.

461 Hits

Bizarre stories and the tale of wanted van and the alleged kidnappers

Talk about the ugly and the bizarre! Here in Samoa today we’ve got a classic case on our hands. Yes all the ingredients that would make other fake news from anywhere else in the world insignificant. We’ve got a main character in Liua Va’asili Savai’inaea, now infamously known as “superman.”

476 Hits

It’s deadly and it’s happening. Urgent global actions absolutely critical now

Here we are again. The world leaders have this week been reminded once more about what we’ve always known living in this part of the world, where the impacts of climate change are severe, scary and deadly. The latest reminder that inaction is not an option has come from the much anticipated report on the impact of global warming of 1.5°C, by the international body for the assessment of climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (I.P.C.C.).

122 Hits

Samoa’s Head of State or is it the H.R.P.P’s Head of State?

Amendments to the role of Head of State and functions of the Office have become so commonplace in Samoa that nothing surprises us anymore. Depending on what suits the mood of the Government on any given day, the countless amendments to the Constitution passed by Parliament over the years are shameful.

756 Hits

How did our life of fa’alavelave become a source of pain, suffering and sorrow?

This much is undeniable. When it comes to excessive spending on fa’alavelave, whether its church, family or village obligations, we are all guilty. Yes we know we should be spending a lot less, especially since its money many of us don’t have, but we continue to go out of our way to find money, whatever it takes, to keep up appearances.

671 Hits

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.

461 Hits

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.

789 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.

218 Hits

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.

169 Hits

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.

336 Hits

Letters to the Editor

Time to introduce a fine

Re: Apia’s growing litter problem an eyesore It’s great to see this initiative in Samoa and good on Shaanarlei for doing this. It is apparent for anyone travelling to Samoa that there is an issue with the rubbish and is something the government needs to sort out (it’s right outside the government’s doorstep to see).

Street Talk

Epi Fania 35

Calls for Samoa A players to be included in the Manu Samoa

“The Samoa A has been crowned winners of the World Rugby Americas Pacific Challenge in Uruguay. But none of the players are in the Manu Samoa team for the Northern Hemisphere tour end of this year. Talaia Mika* asked members of the public if Samoa A players should be included in the Manu Samoa squad. This is what they said:

Think a Minute

Get Up on the Right Side

Think a minute…If you are not having a good day, people sometimes humorously say that you “got up on the wrong side of the bed.” Amazingly, brain surgeons discovered that the brain actually has two sides and that each side thinks differently.

Columns

TACKLING ROOT CAUSE: Climate change is a reality for Pacific countries like Samoa whose residents are having to deal with many forms of natural disasters.

Climate engineering is the potential game changer we need to confront

In his article “Geoengineering worsen climate and hurts Paris Agreement” (October 11, 2018, posted online October 15, 2018), Fiu Mataése Elisara, Executive Director – O.L.S.S.I contends geoengineering (climate engineering) “…is a deliberate attempt by the rich to distract from the real priorities of fossil fuel emission reductions.

Between the Lines

BETWEEN THE LINES

Is this Samoa’s Manu Samoa? Two issues stand out like a sore thumb in the selection of the Manu Samoa. Firstly, there is not a single player picked from the competitions in Samoa.

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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