Education and saving the planet, and saving lives!

Just four days into the New Year and events in the last couple of days should give you an indication of another busy year ahead for the education sector.

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The New Year, celebrations in Samoa and questions of our time

Three days into 2019, one can say that this nation – and perhaps many other nations - are nursing a massive hang over from the Festive Season celebrations. It’s something that is unlikely to be fully cured until next week. Which is expected of course.

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Happy New Year, Samoa!

Well here we are today on the last day of 2018 Samoa. What a year it has been. As we reflect on the past 12 months, we rejoice in many gloriously wonderful moments, we remember with sadness the tough times and some extremely tragic events that have unfolded before us.

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Crimes targeting Chinese and other races sad, sad development. Stop it please!

The headline “Chief Justice alarmed at crime targeting Chinese” published on the front page of this newspaper earlier this month raised eyebrows. Not only was it concerning that crime has become a major issue in Samoa, the idea that certain criminals are picking their targets based on race and ethnicity, is extremely frightening. We cannot ignore it.

501 Hits

Armed robbery, drunks on the road and evil in times of joy

This much is undeniable. Wherever there is good, evil will be lurking around the corner looking for an opportunity to strike. And in happy times like the festive season, it’s a given that there will always be sour experiences.

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Another salary increase for the Government? What about the rest of Samoa?

The last Parliament session for the year on Monday was very short. As if the cancellation of the session prior to the final sitting of the year was not concerning enough in as far as Parliament’s workload goes, there was obviously no rush from the Speaker of the House, Leaupepe Toleafoa Faafisi and the Government to get on with their work – the ones that require them to perform in session.

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The January 1 plastic ban, and doing your bit to save the planet

We are only four days away from bringing down the curtain on what has been a challenging yet exciting year. And we could not help but notice that Samoa is only four days away, from bringing into effect a nationwide ban, on the use of single plastic bags and straws.

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Think peace, calm and hope. That’s what Christmas is about

What is the reason for the season? Is it gifts? Parties? Family gatherings? Holidays? The birth of Jesus Christ the saviour? None of these answers are wrong. Depending on whom you ask, all of us will have different answers.

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“If anything, (Oscar) is convicted for being a qualified profession because he is my son” – P.M. Tuilaepa

Poor Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi. He cannot win this one. As if being an easy target for criticisms for his administration is not enough, his Government’s newest appointment, that of the Chief Executive Officer role of the Ministry of Finance, will only make things even more complicated.

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Thinking safety amidst this beautiful chaos

This is an extremely busy time of the year. Beautiful chaos. There is absolutely no doubt about it. What with Christmas a few days away and so many joyful events taking place all over the country – not to mention the last minute Christmas shopping rush - everyone has their hands full.

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Alleged slavery? Human trafficking? Surely not in Samoa!

Let’s face it. Claims of human trafficking and slavery are not the sort of allegations you’d normally associate with this country, let alone someone from this part of the world. The truth is that when these terms are mentioned and thrown around, the mind immediately conjures up images of immigrants in South America, Asia and the Middle East among other places, who are trying to seek refuge from poverty, famine and war.

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A “made in Samoa” solution to abuse of social media perhaps?

Two interesting developments in relation to the use or the abuse of social media have emerged this week. The developments are not only a timely intervention, they are absolutely necessary as a reminder to all of us that freedom of opinion and information has its limitations and must be exercised with great care.

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Why the Chairman of National Council of Churches is wrong about human rights

Last month, the Chairman of the National Council of Churches, Deacon Kasiano Leaupepe, blamed human rights for the deteriorating state of violence in Samoa.

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How many more millions will this country continue to waste?

This much is true. You know Christmas is near when the wet season arrives and everything else it brings – including those potholes. Everywhere. Indeed, it’s that time of the year once more when thousands of Samoans return for the holidays only to be greeted by those gaping potholes as soon as they exit the wonderful Chinese-funded airport at Faleolo.

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Identifying our friends in the climate change debate

In a time when the world critically needed leadership by the planet’s biggest carbon emitters, everyone failed to show-up. Vulnerable island states—from the Pacific to the Indian Oceans and to the Caribbean—whose future ironically now lies in the hands of those who couldn’t care less, made emphatic and emotional presentations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNCCC).

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Will P.M. Tuilaepa respond to the call?

How far is a grieving family prepared to go to find closure and justice? If you are anything like the Dalton family, the answer is not only will they go to extreme lengths; they will not take no for an answer. Especially when they believe there is something fishy about the way the case of their loved one has been handled.

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We’re still on your side Parker, and so are Samoans all over the world

Lupesoliai Joseph Parker penned quite an interesting piece this week, ahead of his latest fight against Alexander Flores tonight. Published under the headline “Now I know who’s got my back,” it was quite telling.

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Theft, organised crime and the need to protect ourselves from criminals

The story titled “Thieves steal $15,000 worth of red palms” published on page 2 of yesterday’s Samoa Observer is dreadful. Not only are the actions of the culprit or culprits downright shocking, the idea that they have robbed a hard-working woman—not once but twice—tells a sad story.

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Tuesday 12th December 2018, a day many of us thought we would never see

Tuesday 12 December 2018 is a day to remember. It was a day many of us who grew up in Samoa thought we would never see. A day when two of the biggest pillars in Samoa, the Church and Government, collided in the corridors of justice sending out a shockwave to the rest of the country with the burning question of what has happened to Samoa?

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A jolly good time for all

Who wants the rain? Who wants flooding? Or a natural disaster? No one in Samoa does, especially at this time of the year. It’s a happy time, one where people are generally on a positive buzz for one reason or another.

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Letters to the Editor

Glimpse of hope for child vendors

An absolutely vital effort has to start at home. It was one of the things that struck me while on holiday there was the children selling goods, and you good see the look of hopelessness in their eyes.

Street Talk

Luavalu Paulo, 36

Govt. applauded for hydro power

The Government has in the last two weeks been commissioning hydro power plants on both Upolu and Savai’i as it continues the push to become 100 percent reliant on renewable energy by 2025. Our reporter Yolanda Lavatai went and met members of the public to get their views on the issue.

Think a Minute

Successful Business Plan (Part 2)

Think a minute…”The reason some people are successful is that they put their plan and work together for a plan that truly works.” Yesterday we started a plan for success both in our job and career, as well as in our personal life, so today we will complete the course.

Columns

Attendants present to witness the generous handover supported by Tupuola Sione and Sissy Vuki.

Thank you for your generosity

Today we are gathered here in the Faleata Fire Station to witness another milestone for the National Emergency Call Centre, Ministry of Police and the Samoa Fire and Emergency Services Authority.

Between the Lines

BETWEEN THE LINES

A simple sign will do Samoans who support their national airline, Samoa Airways, want the management to know something.

Sunday Reading

Back on his feet: For Lopau Mapuinuumanaia (right), the 59-year-old farmer who was nearly swept away, life has improved.

Rebounding together from dual crises

Lopau Mapuinuumanaia remembers the day his village in southeastern Samoa was torn apart. On 29 September 2009, the 59-year- old farmer was up early planting banana and taro seedlings when he felt the earth shake violently.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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