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Independence 'predestined by God': Head of State

In a speech that reminded of Samoa’s first-ever Independence Day address 58 years ago, the Head of State, His Highness Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, praised God and quoted from the Bible when he addressed the country on Monday. 

The nation’s independence was “predestined by God,” he said.

The speech was reminiscent of the inaugural Independence address delivered 58 years ago by the then Co-Head of State, His Highness Tupua Tamasese.

But in stark contrast to the speech of 1962, and every address since it was not accompanied by parading patriots, song or dance due to the global pandemic of COVID-19.

The current Head of State’s speech was intertwined with references to political and economic development with the sentiments of a sermon as the world continues to operate amid restrictions, including on church services, due to the virus.

“The unprecedented spread of the pandemic, COVID 19 around the world, has subsequently led to readjustments in the way we operate our duties and responsibilities. We are at abnormal times as we continue to fortify our collective efforts to keep the COVID 19 at bay,” His Highness, Tuimalealiifano, said.

“As such, this is the first time since the genesis of our independence celebrations that the official programme for this year’s 58th independence celebration is being communicated through television and radios stations, and the Internet.”

He said that Monday was “a very special day,” and greeted the country “in the mighty Name of Jesus Christ.”

“Fifty-eight years ago, our country came together in accord, and with so much happiness to celebrate our first independence. Today, we pause to give God the glory and the praises, for His endless grace that has kept our country to survive the torrents of stormy seas and turbulences, over these many years of our independence,” His Highness, Tumalealiifano, said.

He welcomed Samoa’s 58th Independence Day ceremony by pointing to the national anthem’s guiding verse, which says that the country's Independence was “predestined by God."

“We welcome our 58th Independence anniversary with the guiding verse of our national anthem: ‘Samoa tulai, ma sisi ia lau fu’a, o lou pale lea, vaai ina fetu o loo ua agiagia mai, o le faailoga lea ua mafai na e tautai’. (The verse translates as: ‘Samoa let us arise to raise our flag, our crown; see the stars flying therein, symbolising our ability to govern’.)

“Our independence was predestined by God. He gave wisdom and understanding, perseverance and courage to our forefathers to believe that Samoa could govern her own affairs. Today marks another milestone of our independence and we remember and acknowledge with pride and heartfelt thanks to the toil and contributions of our forefathers and leaders who championed our Independence and have led our Government and people from the beginning up to this day,” His Highness, Tumalealiifano, said.

As the first and oldest independent state in the Pacific region Samoa has grown in terms of population and economic development, the Head of State said.

He acknowledged the love and support of Samoan people abroad in the development of the nation.

“As the first, and oldest State among the independent nations in the Pacific, our country has grown in terms of our population and economic development. A clear direction has been set for the future through sustainable development modalities, plans and priorities of government to provide for the country now, and the generations to come,” Tuimalealiifano said.

“The knowledge and wisdom of our people have allowed them to confidently devise laws and policies, appropriate resources, and lead the implementation of developments in all sectors of the economy. These have required the close partnership between government Ministries and Corporations and our people, especially the support of our village chiefs and orators, church leaders, women committees, non-government organisations, private sector, and the business community. We acknowledge also with appreciation the love and support of our Samoan people abroad.”

He expressed gratitude and appreciation to national efforts and those by Samoa’s development partners for their continued assistance.

The Head of State said he hopes Samoa “continues to uphold the foundation of our existence through Jesus Christ."

“I acknowledge with sincere gratitude these joint national efforts and may we continue to embrace all which have enabled our development to progress. More importantly, may we continue to uphold the foundation of our existence through Jesus Christ, the Head of the Christian Faith, and our customs and traditions. Thank you Samoa for loving your country and for being faithful servants to our God,” said His Highness Tuimalealiifano.

“Let me acknowledge with utmost appreciation the continuing support and kind assistance of our development partners. Their assistance in many spheres or our economic development is a living testament of genuine partnerships. These have been in existence for years and have grown from strength to strength. Thank you indeed for helping Samoa. We pray for God’s comfort and healing upon their countries and people during this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

He urged the country “not to lose faith and hope with so much happening around us to date”.

“Our country is grounded on our belief in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Israel, and the God of Samoa upon whom our Independent Nation is founded. We are also guided by our traditional values and customs in which love and respect for each other strengthen us. Let the Holy Spirit cast down the strongholds of the enemy that try to shake us or move us,” the Head of State said. 

“These will all come to pass. Let us remain focused on prayer, fasting and returning glory to our God, and look upon our Lord, who has promised us that He would not leave nor forsake us. Let us also pray for peace amongst us all, and in the world. Let us also pray for the peace of Israel, God’s chosen nation where Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour was born.”

In closing, he referenced The Book of ‘Psalms 91’.

“The COVID-19 can be numerically reversed to get the number 91. Psalms 91 vividly reminds us that: ‘You will not fear any danger by night or an arrow during the day; You will not be afraid of the diseases that come in the dark or sickness that strikes at noon’. 

“‘At your side, thousands of people may die, or even ten thousand right beside you, but you will not be hurt’,” His Highness Tuimalealiifano said.

“This is because God is our refuge and our strong tower. Let us remain in the shadow of His wings to keep us safe. God bless all our people. Happy Independence Day Samoa! Soifua.”

His Highness Tuimalealiifano is the only Head of State of Samoa appointed to the role while serving also as a Church Minister. 

He and his wife, the Masiofo, Her Highness Faamausili Tofa Maposua Lilomaiava Leinafo Maria Tuimaleali’ifano, are leaders of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.) at Matautu, Falelatai.

The Head of State's 2020 address was pre-recorded at his residence in Vailele and broadcast Monday morning, 1 June, 2020.

 The Head of State’s address is printed verbatim below. 

On this very special day, I greet you in the mighty Name of Jesus Christ. Fifty eight years ago, our country came together in accord, and with so much happiness to celebrate our first independence. Today, we pause to give God the glory and the praises, for His endless grace that has kept our country to survive the torrents of stormy seas and turbulences, over these many years of our independence.  

The unprecedented spread of the pandemic, COVID 19 around the world, has subsequently led to readjustments in the way we operate our duties and responsibilities. We are at abnormal times as we continue to fortify our collective efforts to keep the COVID 19 at bay. As such, this is the first time since the genesis of our independence celebrations that the official programme for this year’s 58th independence celebration is being communicated through television and radios stations, and the Internet. 

We welcome our 58th Independence anniversary with the guiding verse of our national anthem, ‘Samoa tulai, ma sisi ia lau fu’a, o lou pale lea, vaai ina fetu o loo ua agiagia mai, o le faailoga lea ua mafai na e tautai’, which translates ‘Samoa let us arise to raise our flag, our crown; see the stars flying therein, symbolising our ability to govern’. Our independence was predestined by God. He gave wisdom and understanding, perseverance and courage to our forefathers to believe that Samoa could govern her own affairs. Today marks another milestone of our independence and we remember and acknowledge with pride and heartfelt thanks the toil and contributions of our forefathers and leaders who championed our Independence and have led our Government and people from the beginning up to this day. 

As the first, and oldest State among the independent nations in the Pacific, our country has grown in terms of our population and economic development. A clear direction has been set for the future through sustainable development modalities, plans and priorities of government to provide for the country now, and the generations to come. The knowledge and wisdom of our people have allowed them to confidently devise laws and policies, appropriate resources, and lead the implementation of developments in all sectors of the economy. These have required the close partnership between government Ministries and Corporations and our people, especially the support of our village chiefs and orators, church leaders, women committees, non-government organisations, private sector, and the business community. We acknowledge also with appreciation the love and support of our Samoan people abroad. 

I acknowledge with sincere gratitude these joint national efforts and may we continue to embrace all which have enabled our development to progress. More importantly, may we continue to uphold the foundation of our existence through Jesus Christ, the Head of the Christian Faith, and our customs and traditions. Thank you Samoa for loving your country and for being faithful servants to our God.  

Let me acknowledge with utmost appreciation the continuing support and kind assistance of our development partners. Their assistance in many spheres or our economic development is a living testament of genuine partnerships. These have been in existence for years and have grown from strength to strength. Thank you indeed for helping Samoa. We pray for God’s comfort and healing upon their countries and people during this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic.   

We should not lose faith and hope with so much happening around us to date. 

Our country is grounded on our belief in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Israel, and the God of Samoa upon whom our Independent Nation is founded. We are also guided by our traditional values and customs in which love and respect for each other strengthen us. Let the Holy Spirit cast down the strongholds of the enemy that try to shake us or move us. These will all come to pass. Let us remain focused on prayer, fasting and returning glory to our God, and look upon our Lord, who has promised us that He would not leave nor forsake us. Let us also pray for peace amongst us all, and in the world. Let us also pray for the peace of Israel, God’s chosen nation where Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour was born.  

The COVID 19 can be numerically reversed to get the number 91. Psalms 91 vividly reminds us that ‘you will not fear any danger by night or an arrow during the day; You will not be afraid of the diseases that come in the dark or sickness that strikes at noon’. ‘At your side, thousands of people may die, or even ten   thousand right beside you, but you will not be hurt”. This is because God is our refuge, and our strong tower. Let us remain in the shadow of His wings to keep us safe.   

God bless all our people.  

Happy Independence Day Samoa!   

SOIFUA

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