The front-page story titled “Mother fears for son’s life” published on the front page of the Samoa Observer on Wednesday is alarming. The photograph that accompanied it which showed a young man with a fractured nose and a bruised face was also very disturbing. It’s hard to ignore it.
Today is World Press Freedom day. All around the world, the media and people who believe in the importance of such a fundamental principle in democracy and our lives will take a moment to pause and reflect on the importance of the day.
And so according to the Government’s official figures, Samoa’s total debt stands at $1.1 billion today. This is what the Samoa Bureau of Statistics (S.B.S.) Financial Statistics for the December 2017 quarter say. Even more interesting are the details.
Flipping through the pages of the Samoa Observer editions during the past few weeks, one could be forgiven for asking just what on earth is going on at the halls of justice in Samoa today? We are talking about the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration by the way. It seems to be a hive of activities – legal and illegal – night and day. If only the walls, doors, chairs and tables could talk.
Talents and gifts come in different ways and forms. For some it’s intellectual, for others it comes through athletic prowess and sports and then there are those who can dance. One of the best success stories from last week is a group of young Samoan dancers who travelled to New Zealand, danced and conquered a competition there.
Let’s face it. Times are indeed changing in Samoa, and from what we’re seeing today, it looks as if problems galore are waiting up ahead. That way, it looks as if the right thing to do now is slow down, and let caution be our guide.
Well there you have it Samoa. The Chief Executive Officer of the Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U.), Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i, has come out calling for members of the public to bear with the Union as they work to improve the results of the Manu Samoa Sevens – and in a way rugby teams in general.
When we talk about hardship, struggles and poverty, an element that is often lost in the debate is that there are people who are doing their absolute best to try and get out of it. We think they deserve credit and a mention for their efforts. Today we want to pay tribute to their hard work, whatever it is that they do.
And so some people in Samoa paused once more yesterday morning to remember the A.N.Z.A.C’s. Pity that because once upon a time, it was an occasion to behold on these shores where an entire population would stop to remember.
The passing of Manamea Apelu-Schwalger on Sunday was a tremendously sad moment for this nation. It was especially sad for her family, close friends, the Samoa Cancer Society and cancer patients – here and abroad - who had looked up to her as a role model since she stood up to become the face of the battle against this deadly sickness.
The former Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi’s decision to break his silence on fears about the alienation of customary lands and Samoa’s land laws will gain him some friends and probably more enemies. That much is undeniable.
The frustrations expressed by the Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry over the Government’s latest cost of living stunt called the Customs and Tariff Bill should be taken very seriously. As if this law was not already unpopular with members of the public, the sentiments by the business community echoed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, Lemauga Hobart Va’ai, is absolute proof of another truth we’ve known for a long time now.
Prime Minster Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s week in London would have done him a world of good. It was a timely break from the pressures of home. Anyone who lives in this country would understand that now and then; you need to get away from “the rock” for some fresh air. The petty politics and the personalities can certainly be stifling at times.
We live in a very interesting time. The truth is that everywhere we look today we see conflicts, hardship, strife and war. Around the world we’ve become so used to seeing bloodshed, death and the hopelessness which follows. But there is no sign of slowing down either. The developments between the superpowers of the world are intriguing to say the least.
It has been one of them weeks for Samoa. A rare one where we’ve hardly seen rays of the sunlight, which are synonymous with our tropical environment. Instead, it has been a week of heavy rain and downpours so that all we see in Samoa today are floods, potholes, mud and more mud.
Two days ago, a story was published on page 3 of the Samoa Observer titled “A four year old street vendor.” It immediately caught the attention. The story was accompanied by a photograph of a young boy who was identified as “Ivan.”
We know this much. The comparison of Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s administration to a “dictatorship” and comparisons of the man himself to one of the world’s most notorious dictators, Adolf Hitler, are not new. They have been made time and time again, most of the time by different individuals who believe Samoa is being run like one.
It wasn’t that long ago that a Tufuiopa resident, Tu’ifao Sauala, raised the alarm bells about changes that needed to be done to their road to improve safety in general. The concerns were raised after three pick-up trucks plunged into the village pool having gone too fast and skidded off the main road, which is literally centimeters away.
It was bad in Hong Kong yet the faithful Samoan rugby supporters held their tongues and remained hopeful that somehow it might change. But when Samoa went down 33-0 against England, after capitulating in their first game against Australia, 27-7, at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games two days ago, we cannot continue to be silent anymore.
This much is undeniable. Facebook and its creator, Mark Zuckerberg, have been making all the news during the past couple of weeks. Isolated Samoa in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean is certainly not immune.
Dear Editor In reference to your editorial titled “An utter waste of public monies,” I fail to see from the examples quoted in your editorial how they relate to whether the two entities operate as one or separately.
The biggest denomination in Samoa, the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.) has reportedly rejected the Government’s new law to tax the Head of State and Church Ministers. Although the church has yet to confirm its official position, reports from the Malua annual conference indicate that the church will continue to reject the law. Despite this, the Government has put out a notice that after 30 June 2018, they will start enforcing the law on people who continue to disobey. What do you think? Reporter, Adel Fruean asked members of the public today and this is what they said:
Think a minute…On a TV game show I watched a woman win a shopping spree in a supermarket. She had just five minutes to fill her cart with anything she wanted in the store. In those few minutes, she had to be smart enough to find the most valuable things to fill her cart. Our life is just like that shopping spree. Life is short—so we are given only a limited amount of time to get the most valuable things we can.
As we all very much know, having a job is or must be an integral part of our everyday life. We all yearn for one. That is for sure. What we don’t know is, how do we go about getting “our” job. Period. That is the purpose of this article.
Banking whispers Whispers about the change of ownership for a major player in the banking industry in Samoa has been laughed off.
Members of the Animal Protection Society (A.P.S.) board gathered at the beautiful Taumeasina Resort for a dinner to honor the volunteer vets that came over from Australia to help conduct the clinics.
© Samoa Observer 2016
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