Disgraceful behaviour nonsense we don’t need

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

Being patriotic is one thing. Being stupid is quite another.

And when it comes to burning another nation’s flag of freedom under the guise of patriotism; that is definitely beyond stupid. 

There are no excuses whatsoever. This is the sort of barbaric act driven by anger and hate we see in nations where extremists and terrorists thrive to wreak havoc for the sake of it.

In this part of the world, it is absolutely unnecessary, especially over a game of rugby league. Like seriously. 

Which is why the developments of the past few days concerning certain Samoans and Tongans in New Zealand is not only disturbing, it is disappointing.

This sort of conduct is disgraceful and it only reflects badly on us as a people. It will without a doubt continue to feed a colonial mentality we are a bunch of savages who love nothing else but violence and confrontation.

Which is far from the truth. We are people who are respectful. We are proud of our culture, families and affiliations and we know where the lines need to be drawn.

The behaviour of the young man whose father has apologised on the front page of your newspaper today is unnecessary. The good thing is that he has quickly apologised and if he is genuine, it’s high time we move on. Even his father has taken the initiative to say sorry. 

As he said, parents don’t teach their children to behave badly. 

But such is the world we live in today.

What can we do?

Well, we can choose to move on.  Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got bigger fish to fry. We’ve got far more serious issues to focus on to have the time to waste on such trivial incidents.

Corruption is hurting our countries, foreigners are taking our lands and our islands sinking as a result of climate change.

As if that is not serious enough, domestic violence continues to be one of the challenges we need to address among many others. 

These are the sorts of issues we need to think about. 

Yes it’s always good when Samoa and Tonga go head to head, whether its rugby, rugby league or whatever sport. There is always the historical element of rivalry and a healthy love/hate relationship between the two countries, which is fine. It is what it is. 

But when people start disrespecting each other with acts like the burning of a flag, in this case the Samoan flag, that is going too far.

It gets considerably worse in this age where everyone has a voice on social media so that such incidents quickly escalate and become ugly instantly. 

Which is precisely what has happened.

When this piece was being compiled, reports arrived about Samoans and Tongans brawling on the streets of South Auckland.

Members of both communities have been quick to call for calm - particularly among young people - saying the actions of one person should not ruin the relationship between Pacific nations and friends.

Danny “Brotha D’’ Leaosavai’i, of record label Dawn Raid Entertainment, told his followers: “Don’t let the action of a minion corrupt the harmony of millions. Alofa still means ofa [love].’’

Former heavyweight boxer Tua also spoke on Auckland-based Radio Samoa 1593, urging young people to disregard hateful comments being said on social media and promote peace between the two groups.

“We are all family,’’ he said.

Even Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi is calling for calm on the front page today. While he has condemned the actions of the man who burnt our flag calling it foolish, Tuilaepa knows we are better than that.

“The foolish act of one person should not be used to instigate violence,” he said.

We couldn’t agree more. 

If anything, we await the much-anticipated clash between Toa Samoa and Tonga this Saturday. Let them do the talking on the field. Whoever wins, whether its Samoa or Tonga, people from both countries will then have four years of bragging rights to bag each other. 

But this sort of carry on as we are seeing today in Auckland is nonsense. Stop it please.

Have a safe Thursday Samoa, God bless!

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