“We can dream all we want but it is what we do that we get”

Well, there you go ladies and gentlemen. The 48th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting is now officially underway. It follows a very colourful opening ceremony at the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum last night, where our visitors were accorded the best of Samoan hospitality with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi welcoming everyone.

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Regionalism and the blue Pacific Ocean

The theme of this week’s 48th Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting could not have been more fitting. “The Blue Pacific, our Sea of islands, our Security through Sustainable development, management and conservation” sums up quite well the challenges facing the leaders and delegates who are gathering in Apia today.

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Now the real hard work begins

It’s a great week to be in Samoa. The vibes are positive and there is definitely plenty of excitement and anticipation in the air. With the nation welcoming regional and global leaders for the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Meeting, the fact it is happening simultaneously with the 27th Annual Teuila Festival, which officially opened last night, is an added bonus.

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How about some simple remedies, to fight rampant corruption and poverty we’re seeing everywhere today, Mr Prime Minister?

Poor Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi. What exactly happens when someone he’s close to – such as a Cabinet Minister for instance – is alleged to have broken the law and now he, Tuilaepa, is waiting for a “divine whisper from the heavens” to tell him what he should do?

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Obesity is ugly, wake up Samoa!

Obesity is an ugly problem in Samoa. It’s not just an ugly problem; it’s an expensive one too. Just ask the government who has to spend thousands of tala that should be set aside for other developments simply to deal with non-communicable diseases, which are largely caused by obesity.

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Of secret whispers and Lopao’o’s new role

Well there you have it, Samoa. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi was finally prompted by a “secret whisper” yesterday so that the new Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries is now no longer a secret. Thank goodness for that.

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We should try and make Samoa paddling capital of the Pacific

The question pops up now and then. Why canoeing is not our national sport given our proud history of being seafarers and navigators does baffle the mind. How rugby took over as the national sport is certainly a mystery. But then there are many things that puzzle us here on these beautiful shores.

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Economic empowerment versus moral and sacred responsibility

Economic empowerment is important. It is critical in fact. In this day and age, where money talks, the question of economic empowerment using natural resources is always a controversial issue.

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With assurance from Sili and Seiuli, let Samoa Airways fly

It’s a well-known story. Our once proud flag carrier Polynesian Airlines has a very interesting history. Simply put, the last time the government tried to run such a huge commercial operation, it nearly bankrupted the country.

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Time to seriously consider concerns about hard labour on Sundays

The gripe from certain sectors of the community about companies carrying out heavy labour work on Sunday is not new. The topic has been heavily debated before and it will continue to be so as long as nothing is done to appease these concerns.

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What happens when corruption is a factor at the start

Sins of the past are sure hard to get rid of. They can be forgiven but there is always a price to pay. Ask the Samoa Land Corporation (S.L.C.) and they should have a long and interesting story to tell. It’s a story that should clearly end with a warning about how not to spend public monies.

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Interesting political developments

It has been an interesting week locally and regionally. Whereas all the attention in Samoa is fixed on the resignation of the former Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, La’auli Leuatea Polataivao, over a longstanding feud with a fellow H.R.P.P member, a few hours from Faleolo International Airport in Tonga, something quite spectacular was unfolding there as this edition of the paper was going to print last night.

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End of Yazaki a sad day for Samoa

Today is undoubtedly a sad day for Samoa. While we’ve known for sometime now, this is a day we dreaded. It’s a day we did not want to arrive at all. After 25 years of operations in Samoa, the country’s biggest private employer, Yazaki Samoa Eds, is officially shutting shop.

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Small massive achievements

Some important positive developments in rural education are worth celebrating. We say this because when it comes to secondary schools, the focus is more often than not on the performance and the achievements of the more popular affluent schools in the Apia town area.

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Deep-rooted problems require soul searching solutions

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has a legitimate concern. Judging from a string of headlines about some of the criminal developments in Samoa recently, the image of Samoa being created in the minds of people who don’t know us better will certainly not be flattering.

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Another classic Samoa moment

People who live in glasshouses shouldn’t throw stones. The old adage comes to mind when one stops to carefully observe the recent comments by the Prime Minister in relation to the work of the media – especially this newspaper.

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What’s in a logo?

The unanimous verdict about Samoa Airways new logo is quite clear. It is boring, plain and ugly. Ask anyone out there and that will probably be his or her response.

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“My blood has been spilt for Samoa. I am proud to give it” - Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III

The biography of Samoa’s freedom fighter, protagonist, patriot and successful entrepreneur, Ta’isi O.F. Nelson, is without a doubt a work of dedication and love. Titled Tautai, Samoa, World History and the Life of Ta’isi O.F. Nelson, it was researched and written by Patrician O’Brien, an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the School of History, at the Australian National University.

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“Rape and incest”, 400 sex workers, well done Prime Minister Tuilaepa, Dr Leao Tuitama!

On the front page of yesterday’s Samoa Observer, the picture of Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, was published under the headline: “P.M. Tuilaepa attacks media for reporting on rape, incest!”

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Once again dear Prime Minister Tuilaepa, with bated breath we are still waiting!

An email arrived three days ago. It said: “During a previous Parliamentary sitting, there was much debate over the Officers of Parliament Committee Report, in to the Controller and Chief Auditor’s Report for 2009 to 2011.

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Letters to the Editor

Congratulations Lupesoliai Joseph Parker!

Dear Editor, First and foremost, congratulations to the matai Faleula and Lepā lau Afioga Lupesoliai Laaulialemalietoa Joseph Parker for your victory over Hughie Fury on Sunday though you did not knock him out.

Street Talk

Mele Maulolo Iasoni, 47

Line blurred between tips and bribery

The difference between tipping and bribery has been spelt out by a Cabinet Minister who said public servants should not feel bad about accepting tips for doing their work. The Minister of Revenue, Tialavea Tioniso Hunt, said it is only wrong when public servants accept bribes. What do you think? Should members of the public be encouraged to tip public servants, especially people like Customs officials? Ulimasao Fata asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said:

Think a Minute

Talking to the dead

Think a minute…A cemetery in Indiana, America has a gravestone with these words on it: “Stop stranger, when you pass me by. As you are now, so once was I.

Columns

Make a life so beautiful…

Have you watched closely the hand of a child holding your hand?

Between the Lines

BETWEEN THE LINES

NUMBERS PLEASE Is it our imagination or has there been a genuine upsurge in the number of tourists in Samoa? We say genuine, because we are not counting those who are our own ‘sons and daughters (and other aiga) for the return home’!

Sunday Reading

EMPOWERED NOFOTANE WOMEN: During the Teuila Festival 2017, the unemployed Nofotane women sold products at their own market stall set up at the Teuila Festival site in front of the government building.

Samoan women reap socio economic returns

While the celebration of Samoa’s culture and traditions as per the Teuila Festival for 2017 has come to an end, the empowered nofotane women used the festival to enjoy the socio-economic returns from being empowered.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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