Am. Samoa bans visits by Western Samoans
To mark the 40th Anniversary of the Samoa Observer, a series of selected articles printed over the last 40 years will be re-published in the next two weeks, to show our readers the issues covered by this newspaper over the years and the personalities that made the headlines.
First Published: 10 January 1992
The American Samoan government has banned all visitors from Western Samoa unless in emergencies like funerals.
The American Samoan Attorney General, Tautai A.S.Faalevao confirmed this with the Samoa Observer yesterday.
“The government has issued an executive order to prohibit all incoming visitors” said Faalevao.
When asked why this was done he said that it was done “in light of the aftermath of cyclone Val and the emergency situation affecting public utilities and health hazards.”
There have been allegations that the ban stemmed from the fact that Western Samoans were travelling to American Samoa and claiming aid there.
Faalevao denied that this was the reason for the ban but said that they have had some Western Samoans doing that.
“I’m not so sure that was the reason for the executive order, but we are aware of at least one or two such cases” he said.
A source in American Samoa told the Samoa Observer that there was no distinction being made in American Samoa as to who received aid.
“Everyone gets the same aid whether you’re American” he said.
He said also that the Western Samoans living in American Samoa at the time of the hurricane got aid.
The two major canneries in American Samoa, Starkist and Samoa Packing are apparently also preparing to give their own aid for their workers.
It has been reported that they will be dishing out 150 pounds of food for each employee.
“I would imagine most of that will end up on the Salamasina” said the source.
The majority of the workers at the two canneries are Western Samoans.
Meanwhile the ban on visitors will continue for some time yet.
“This is only an emergency measure and only those wishing to visit for emergencies like funerals and other justifiable reasons are allowed in at present” said the Attorney General.