Vile crimes, shocking deaths and sadness in Samoa today

For such a small country, the amount of deaths reported by the Police on a weekly basis – including crime-related deaths - is quite high. It’s disturbing. So much so you cannot help but ask the question; what is happening in Samoa today? You see gone are the days where these incidents were a rarity.

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Corruption is also the misuse of generosity and sweat of others

All this talk about another grand project by the Government in the form of a new airport at Tiavea – should they proceed – brings back memories. Not only does it remind us of a similar failed project out that way where millions of taxpayers’ tala were wasted, it also brings to mind a point made by a former Cabinet Minister which we should never forget.

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The battle to save our coconut plantations and getting the best out of the Pacific’s famous palm

It is conferences like the one happening this morning at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel that gives relevance to regional organisations such as the Pacific Community (SPC) and the impact that donors such as the European Union are having on the lives of the people.

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Fairness, $2.6 million of unpaid water bills and the sacking of coach Fuimaono

Let’s talk about fairness. The principle implies that everyone is treated equally and that all members of the community, regardless of who they are, get the same treatment. Imagine the day that happens on the planet, wouldn’t it be a wonderful world to live in? Unfortunately, that is not the case and probably never will be, not in Samoa or anywhere else for that matter.

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Manu Samoa vs Samoa A? Let’s campaign to make it happen

Let’s make it happen. Seriously. While the calls for Samoa A to play the Manu Samoa perhaps started out as a joke, it could actually be one of the best things to happen in Samoan rugby by a long stretch. And not just because of the negativity surrounding the latest selection of the country’s national team, Manu Samoa.

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Time for P.M. to introduce law to deal with Ministers’ private business interests

Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi issued an impassioned plea to Members of Parliament, particularly Cabinet Ministers and Associate Ministers. In light of recent controversies involving Cabinet Ministers and their business interests, Tuilaepa’s call was quite simple. He wants them to stay far away from their family businesses, telling them to focus on their public duties instead.

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“We have to apply common sense. This was my decision although it is not in line with the law” – Minister Tialavea

On the front page of the Sunday Samoan of 14 October 2018, the headline read: “Govt. can assist cash-strapped firms.” The story referred to a Government policy that allows certain companies to pay their import duty after 30 days – but only if they pay 50 per cent of the tax upfront.

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Well done, Samoa A! Now why has not one of them made the Manu Samoa?

At long last there is some positive news on the rugby front. We are talking about Samoa A’s well deserved victory at the Americas Pacific Rugby Challenge at the Estadio Charrua in Montevideo. The win is great for rugby in Samoa, especially for the controversy-prone Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U.) which desperately needed some positive news to break their way after what’s been unfolding publically lately.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Letters to the Editor

Ministry of Revenue clarifies Clearance and Deferral scheme

Dear Editor, I refer to the above matter, which was reported in your Sunday paper on the 14 October 2018 and also as an editorial feature on the 18th October 2018. This is to provide a response on further clarifications sought from your paper on the subject matter.

Street Talk

Faaofonuu Iosefo Faamausili, 59

Should Ministers and Associate Ministers run private businesses while they are in the Government?

The interviews were done by Talaia Mika, a NUS diploma program final year student.

Think a Minute

Eternal security

Think a minute…Queen Victoria was one of England’s most popular rulers, with the Victorian era being named for her. She was one of the richest, most powerful women in the world.

Columns

Peace, security and climate change

I have the honour and privilege to present to You the Letter of Credence addressed to Your Highness by His Majesty King Willem Alexander, accrediting me as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Independent State of Samoa.

Between the Lines

BETWEEN THE LINES

P.M. on Church leaders It seems Prime Minister Tuilaepa can’t leave members of clergy alone. During a radio programme last week, he had plenty to say about Church Ministers. For instance, he reminded them that Church Ministers were only taught on spiritual matters, not on Economics.

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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