Taking a breather on China’s Belt and Road Initiative

China’s Belt and Road Initiative has got the leadership of some Pacific Island nations excited since it was first proposed by China under President Xi Jinping in 2013. The Belt and Road Initiative is an ambitious plan by China to link Asia, Europe and Africa with a network of ports, highways and railways and it is giving tens of billions of dollars in loans to countries, in a bid to build major infrastructure development projects in the various participating nations in central Asia, Europe and the Indo-Pacific region.

172 Hits

Bullying tactics, church, desperation and hypocrites

And so it continues. The war between Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s Government and the church, especially the biggest denomination on the land, the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.) over taxes has taken another ugly turn.

1398 Hits

Alcohol-related death and Tala Vou the unsung hero

It’s been a sad week for a number of reasons. While the countdown to tomorrow’s nationwide White Sunday celebration is no doubt keeping most of us preoccupied, the loss of precious lives through vile acts of crime and the unforgiving nature of the ocean hurts deeply, especially if you are related to a couple of men whose journey have been ended unexpectedly this week.

438 Hits

Bizarre stories and the tale of wanted van and the alleged kidnappers

Talk about the ugly and the bizarre! Here in Samoa today we’ve got a classic case on our hands. Yes all the ingredients that would make other fake news from anywhere else in the world insignificant. We’ve got a main character in Liua Va’asili Savai’inaea, now infamously known as “superman.”

464 Hits

It’s deadly and it’s happening. Urgent global actions absolutely critical now

Here we are again. The world leaders have this week been reminded once more about what we’ve always known living in this part of the world, where the impacts of climate change are severe, scary and deadly. The latest reminder that inaction is not an option has come from the much anticipated report on the impact of global warming of 1.5°C, by the international body for the assessment of climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (I.P.C.C.).

115 Hits

Samoa’s Head of State or is it the H.R.P.P’s Head of State?

Amendments to the role of Head of State and functions of the Office have become so commonplace in Samoa that nothing surprises us anymore. Depending on what suits the mood of the Government on any given day, the countless amendments to the Constitution passed by Parliament over the years are shameful.

733 Hits

How did our life of fa’alavelave become a source of pain, suffering and sorrow?

This much is undeniable. When it comes to excessive spending on fa’alavelave, whether its church, family or village obligations, we are all guilty. Yes we know we should be spending a lot less, especially since its money many of us don’t have, but we continue to go out of our way to find money, whatever it takes, to keep up appearances.

664 Hits

Child protection and taking care of our vulnerable ones

It is perhaps not a coincidence that a non-government organisation recently held a workshop on child protection, as Samoa begins the countdown to White Sunday celebrations this weekend. The Wellbeing and Community Solutions (WCS) ran a workshop to introduce “child protection case management” systems.

137 Hits

Now that P.M. Tuilaepa has spoken, what next?

A few weeks ago, the awarding of a multi-million-tala contract to a senior Associate Minister raised many eyebrows so that everyone who cared enough about the principles of transparency, accountability and good governance stopped and took a closer look.

458 Hits

Samoa’s one-state party Parliament’s half a day session

Parliament’s session yesterday was quite quick. If you blinked you would’ve missed it. That’s not a joke by the way. You see after not having a session since June when they only convened to pass the 2018/2019 Budget, if you were hoping for a decent debate on a number of issues and the Bills tabled yesterday, you would have been disappointed. And rightly so.

403 Hits

On Teachers’ Day today, let the Government be reminded it should put money where its mouth is

Today in Samoa is a very special day. Teachers’ Day is being marked throughout the country by different programmes and activities involving students and members of the community. The events today are the culmination of a host of activities dedicated to honouring teachers in Samoa for the past week.

159 Hits

It’s better we err on the side of caution

An issue of critical importance, especially in relation to the protection of young girls, has been raised this week. It has naturally sent out a wave of panic across the nation. The truth is that we really don’t know enough to draw any conclusions at this stage. What we do know is that the alarm had been raised on social media by concerned members of the public until Tuesday night when the Police announced they have launched an investigation into claims of an alleged abduction attempt.

293 Hits

How exactly have these multi-million -tala projects improved lives?

Here’s a question. Why is it that after all these multi-million-tala projects by the Government, which always and usually promise improved and cheaper services, and yet we hardly see a difference? Let’s look at basic utilities for instance, particularly electricity.

481 Hits

Perhaps it’s time for P.M. Tuilaepa to come home to control his “kids”

And so the soap opera called the Samoa Rugby Union’s selection dilemma keeps on giving. Like a water spring that cannot be stemmed, the Union’s problems keep finding its way into the public arena so that we are all left wondering when this madness will finally end.

788 Hits

The Human Development Index, Samoa and sustainable tourism

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released its Human Development Index (HDI) a couple of days ago, heralding progress in Samoa, Fiji, Palau and Tonga due to their ability to maintain their positions in the High Human Development category.

213 Hits

Golf, conflict of interest, New York and the persecution of Christians in China

Well it’s been an interesting week. Judging from the stories on the pages of this newspaper; there is never really a dull moment in this slice of paradise we call home. The good, the bad and ugly, you name it we have it all.

349 Hits

Thank you Samoa’s hard working public servants

The annual Public Service day was celebrated yesterday. But unlike previous years where there is usually a big parade along Beach Road with the Public Service Awards ceremony to follow, yesterday was a little different. The celebration was a lot more subdued in the sense it was more in-house.

168 Hits

An ant can’t compete with an elephant. What is the Government doing to small farmers?

Here’s a fact. The majority of families in Samoa identify themselves as subsistent farmers. For all of them, their humble plantations, banana patch or vegetable garden is not only their source of daily sustenance – it is also their only income stream. In the absence of much-needed formal employment opportunities in this nation, this is what their survival depends upon. In essence, it’s their bread and butter.

330 Hits

Leeches? Time to move on

The truth is simple enough. The public outrage among the Pacific community all over the world following Heather du Plessis-Allan’s “leeches” attack on Pacific countries is justified. It is not okay for anyone to abuse a privileged position in the media to demean and insult anyone else – or in this case an entire group of people – for whatever reason.

476 Hits

Senior politicians and the issue of conflict of interest

Two weeks ago, a story titled “$3.57 million contract awarded for new airport” was published on the front page of the Sunday Samoan. It certainly raised a few eyebrows. Firstly, very little has been said about the Tia’vea Airport project, certainly from the Government that is.

648 Hits

Letters to the Editor

Your one eyed unbalanced editorial “Bullying tactics, church, desperation and hypocrites”

Dear Sir, So you thought tax for church ministers is a “Bullying tactics, church, desperation and hypocrites” as you had editorialised? So you think Mr. Editor the CCCS church ministers, who are earning very very high incomes, should continue to be treated differently from the rest of the taxpayers in Samoa, and give them an exceptional utmost above all else courtesy in the country?

Street Talk

Faaiuga Tusitala 46

Savaii residents want 2019 Miss Samoa Pageant and Teuila Festival

Should the 2019 Miss Samoa Pageant and Teuila Festival be held in Savaii? Reporter Adel Fruean travelled to Savai’i to cover the pageant and also had the chance to speak to locals on what they thought of Samoa’s two premier events.

Think a Minute

No pain, no gain

Think a minute…You have heard the saying: “No pain, no gain.” Recently a little boy wrote to God and said: “Dear God, my brother just told me how much it hurt my mom when I was born, but he’s just kidding, right?” Unfortunately not! So why do millions of women choose to go through the terrible pain of childbirth?

Columns

The implications of IPCC SR15 on our islands

I’ve been ruminating on the release of the I.P.C.C. Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15) in the past few days.

Between the Lines

BETWEEN THE LINES

Is this Samoa’s Manu Samoa? Two issues stand out like a sore thumb in the selection of the Manu Samoa. Firstly, there is not a single player picked from the competitions in Samoa.

Sunday Reading

Myths and Legends of the Ancient World

The spears flew towards the youth on the hill, whistling as they cut through the air. Grinning, Queen Medb’s general drew his sword, eager to take back to his Queen the head of this warrior whom they called the Hound of Ulster. He had no doubt his spears would find their mark.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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