Attack on P.M. Tuilaepa cowardly, shameful and unacceptable

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

This much we know. The attack on Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi in Brisbane on Wednesday night was unacceptable (see story). 

It was a cowardly act and regardless of what reasons or motives that might have triggered it, whoever is responsible should be ashamed. 

Even worse is the idea that the people behind the attack are Samoans. 

We say this is a very sad day for our people because this sort of behaviour does not reflect well on all of us. It only makes us the laughing stock of the world. As a people, as a nation and as a family of Christians, we are better than that.

Which is why we want to remind today that this is Samoa where our problems are not resolved through wanton acts of violence, throwing pigs as weapons, confrontation and fists. 

We use dialogue, mutual respect, compassion, patience, love and the respect for the rule of law. That’s how peace and political stability have been preserved by our ancestors over the years. 

All of us are duty bound to do the same. We owe our forebears that much.

Now of course Tuilaepa is not an angel. A lot of people might be upset with what he has been saying, calling people many colourful names including “stinking pigs,” “dogs,” “fools” and the like.  Some people will—and have already argued—that what goes around comes around and that Tuilaepa had this coming. They have a point.

But is that the best way to solve our problems?  We don’t think so.

As a nation of Christians, we must exercise restraint. 

We believe in a God of truth and justice who sees and deals with each person in his own time. We know there will come a time when that will happen. Folks, even Prime Minister Tuilaepa will face the music, just like each and every one of us. No one is indispensible regardless of how powerful you think you are.

Besides two wrongs don’t make a right. Attempting to embarrass the Prime Minister of a sovereign country for the world to see is not only wrong, it is disrespectful,  spineless and unnecessary.

Today, we’d like to think that we exist in a civilised world where we sort out our differences like grown ups. If the perpetrators, whoever they are, feel strongly against the Prime Minister, there are simple ways they could have expressed their views. 

They could have approached him after his speech in Brisbane and asked him for 10 minutes of his time. Tuilaepa is one of the most approachable leaders there is in the world. If not, they could have booked an appointment to see him.

There is also the opportunity to write a letter to the editor, which will eventually be read by the Prime Minister. Trust me, he loves this newspaper that much, which is why he simply cannot leave us alone.

That said, we truly hope whoever was responsible for the attack are caught and held accountable for their actions. This is for the simple reason that whether we love or loathe Tuilaepa, the man is the Prime Minister of Samoa. 

For 20 years, he has been the leader of this nation where he has come to earn our respect. We have our disagreements but that’s life.

In a democracy, there are several ways where people can express their disapproval of their leaders. One of the avenues is coming up in two years time.

It is called the General Election folks. If Samoans who are attacking the Prime Minister and the Government on social media and all other forms of media don’t like him that much, we strongly suggest they start making plans to come to Samoa, spend some time here and vote them out. That’s the best way to show how they feel, not thug-like behaviour which only makes Samoa the laughing stock of the world—as it has happened today. 

What do you think? 

Have a peaceful Friday Samoa, God bless!

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