Fourteen gain Samoan citizenship
Fourteen individuals from six different nations have become new Samoan citizens after a swearing-in ceremony witnessed by Government leaders on Wednesday.
The new citizenships were granted to the individuals by means of marriage and by permanent residency.
The new Samoans took oaths before the Cabinet with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi in attendance at the ceremony.
Tuilaepa told the newly sworn citizens during the ceremony that the occasion marked a new beginning for them as new citizens, stated a Government media release.
“It is the affirmation of your allegiance and commitment to serve your newly adopted country with loyalty, faithfulness, compassion, love, respect and integrity,” he said.
He said that Samoa is a Christian nation which observes the fundamental doctrine of loving your neighbour as you love yourself.
“The Government and the people of Samoa congratulate you all, and welcome you as citizens of the Independent State of Samoa,” he said.
“Our citizenship speaks volumes of our identity, inheritance and authority as Samoans.
“It is our God given right to live freely and harmoniously on these beautiful islands; and to exercise our unique talents, wisdom and knowledge to contribute to the social and economic wellbeing of Samoa.”
Tuilaepa said that the new citizens have been given that right, which must be treated with utmost respect and truthfulness.
“I gathered that the majority of you have qualified for citizenship by virtue of their marriage to Samoan citizens, and by virtue of your permanent residency status,” the Prime Minister said.
“Many of you have patiently waited for years to be qualified for citizenship, in accordance with the requirements of our laws.
“Central to the assessment of your eligibility, is solid evidence of your marriage and family stability over these many years, your good health and character, and your firm understanding of the responsibilities of being citizens of Samoa.”
The Prime Minister also thanked the new citizens for their years of service to Samoa in different sectors of the economy, prior to their taking the oath.
“I encourage you to continue to contribute positively, to our country’s growth and prosperity,” he added.
“Despite the daunting global challenges we are now contemplating due to the COVID-19, we shall continue to press on, and to come to one accord to develop and protect our country.
“Pivotal to our response is acceptance of our shared responsibility. We must respond collectively as a country to address these global challenges
“We should not dwell on indifference and division. Unity is our strength, and the foundation of our culture and identity.”
He said that the nation’s collective responsibility is to ensure that its children and future generations will live comfortably, and are taught to be responsible custodians of our scarce resources.
“Government has formulated key strategies and actions to enhance our resilience against disasters, strengthen our national security responses, and to generate new ventures and investments to provide more employment opportunities for our people,” Tuilaepa said.
“More pressing now is the careful management of our borders from COVID-19. All these commitments call for citizens to take ownership and to work collaboratively for Samoa.
“The message for you all today is to serve your country and family with humility, honesty and commitment. We should neither lose sight of our national duties as Samoans, nor forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens.”
The Prime Minister said that, as a Christian nation, Samoa declares “its dependence on God, and he will continue to lead this country, according to the richness and abundance of his grace.”
The new citizens are: Eliseo Rossi originally of Italy; Lorina Sauila of Australia; Prem Chand of Fiji; Rodney David Greed of Australia; Shashi Ashwin Prasad of Fiji; Sione Moala Fifita of Tonga; Suneeta Prasad of Fiji; Tekimatanga Uilelea of the Solomon Islands; and Hamza Shahijahan and his wife Mehidi of Bangladesh with their four children Hana Shahijahan, Harris Shahijahan, MD Shahijahan and Hazera Akter.