Tuesday 12 December 2018 is a day to remember. It was a day many of us who grew up in Samoa thought we would never see. A day when two of the biggest pillars in Samoa, the Church and Government, collided in the corridors of justice sending out a shockwave to the rest of the country with the burning question of what has happened to Samoa?
Who wants the rain? Who wants flooding? Or a natural disaster? No one in Samoa does, especially at this time of the year. It’s a happy time, one where people are generally on a positive buzz for one reason or another.
The writer was invited by UNESCO to speak as one of the panelists during the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights last night. Other speakers included Acting Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma and UNESCO Director and Representative to the Pacific State, Ms. Nisha. This is what Mata’afa said:
Forget what the climate change skeptics are saying—it is real and already affecting millions of lives on the planet—including the Pacific Islands. In America authorities put the death toll from the devastating fires in California last month at 85.
The death of Jeremiah Malaki Tauili’ili is tragic. Every time a precious life is lost, regardless of the circumstances, it pains very deeply. Why? We believe that one life lost is one too many. Which is the tragedy of Mr. Tauiliili’s death. At 24 years young, a promising Civil Engineer career at the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure and a child to raise; he had his whole future ahead of him.
So who is telling the truth with regards to funding for the Asau Wharf? That’s the million-tala question today after conflicting stories have emerged from key players in this project. What should have been a really simple straightforward story has suddenly become a mystery for reasons that are beyond me.
Don’t get us wrong; we are proud and patriotic Samoans, just like all Samoans in this country and all over the world. And after close to 40 years in power, we are grateful for the work that has been done by the Human Rights Protection Party government to develop Samoa to where we are today. There is a lot to celebrate.
On Tuesday afternoon, an email accompanied by an attachment arrived from the Government Press Secretariat. When opened, the imagery was interesting. You couldn’t help but laugh. Really. You see, it showed an interesting picture of Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi wearing sunnies in his office, with two arms raised while he is pointing to the ceiling.
Call me old school – or whatever name you want – but I think there is something odd about this strong push to include sex education in Samoa’s school system. We’ve got far more serious problems to deal with in schools. Like getting better results in Mathematics, Science and literacy subjects, which we know have been very poor during the past few years.
It is only Tuesday but the week has got off to a flurry, thanks to the school and college graduations which kicked off yesterday to usher in the last month of the year.
Isn’t it a nice feeling starting the week on a high, thanks to Samoa beating France early yesterday morning to win the Challenge Trophy, on the second day of the Emirates Airline Rugby Dubai Sevens.
Yesterday Samoa joined the global community to mark World AIDS Day with Prime Minister Dr. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and Ministry of Health CEO Leausa Toleafoa Dr.Take Naseri taking the lead.
Here’s the good news. While it’s not the first time Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s administration has assured us, if ever we needed reassurance about how not to be buried in debt and our ability as a nation to pay, the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, is the man of the hour.
Christmas has come early for some Samoan families, who have prayed fervently in recent years for a good Samaritan, to step forward with free water tanks. Some families have not had access to a consistent source of water for many years, until they got on the list of 21 families, who were chosen to receive a 2000-litre water tank from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (L.D.S) Charities recently.
Fake news, social media, cyber security, internet connectivity, data breaches, online safety and artificial intelligence! There must have been plenty to talk about at the 11th Asia Pacific Telecommunity Policy and Regulation Forum, which concludes in Apia today, after three-days of discussions by 70-80 participants.
There is a strange looking vessel docked at Matautu wharf in Apia, which has raised eyebrows since it entered Samoan waters last Saturday. Fly over the top of the ship from 20,000 feet and you would think it was a giant stingray flying over the ocean, the solar panels on top of the vessel easily passing for the marine animals’ pectoral fins!
Perhaps it is not a coincidence that a sub-regional intellectual property workshop convened at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel concluded at the end of last week. The workshop—which was facilitated by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (MCIL) and hosted delegates from a few Pacific Island nations—was funded by the World Intellectual Property Organisation.
Finally, a win to restore some much needed pride in that blue jersey¬, and to end the Northern Hemisphere Tour on a high. The Manu Samoa victory has had a mixed reaction from fans back in the motherland—if the public comments on social media here and abroad is any indication—with some even asking whether the 28-10 victory over a team ranked 20 on world rugby rankings is worth it.
Here’s a thought. There are times when we think we are moving forward when we are not. The reality is that we really are going backwards. It happens a lot more frequently than we care to think. The thought came to mind after reading the story titled “Kidney dialysis services to expand” published on page 5 of the Samoa Observer on Thursday 22 November 2018.
It’s one of the most asked questions of today. How do we begin to address the scourge of violence, particularly family violence, in Samoa? During a public forum this week, the problem was labelled as a “disease” by the Chairman of the National Council of Churches, Deacon Kasiano Leaupepe. And rightly so.
Re: Land and Court ruling Ahem I’m a little confused here! So how does a lease granted under the Alienation of Customary Land Act 1965 end up as public land? According to Justice Tafaoimalo “Leases granted over customary land fall within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as they operate as leases of public land”.
Samoa joined the international community last Saturday December 1 to mark the 2018 World AIDS Day with a parade, a float and speeches by dignitaries including Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi. Our reporter Yolanda Lavata’i met members of the public to get their views on the deadly disease and what should be done.
Think a minute…Years ago many white southerners in America treated black, African Americans in horrible, evil ways. Yet there were some southern whites who were different. One of these was the Chisholm family in Laurel, Mississippi.
I’ve been asked to shed light on the emerging challenges of Human Rights in Samoa/ and the approach of the country in addressing them/ in approximately four to five minutes. ---I know you are keen to see the movie, so I will aim for three minutes.
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.
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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