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What is Good for Apia is also good for Savaii!
"O le mea e lelei i Apia, e lelei foi mo Savaii"

HRPP Samoa News
Jul 19

On the proposed Constitutional Review, PM Tuilaepa to Bainimarama

Fiji Military

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says he will continue the open dialogue with dictator Commodore Frank Bainimarama on the dire situation in Fiji for as long as the military regime there is in power and the people of Fiji are denied democratic freedom.

When asked this week about his continuing tit-a-tat with the Commodore, the Prime Minister said;

“Some people say I should not interfere with the internal affairs of Fiji and its sovereignty. The reality is, Bainimarama wrestled that sovereignty away from the Fijian people at the point of a gun back in December 2006.

“So as long as he (Bainimarama) is there pulling the trigger and the strings I will continue this open-dialogue through the media on the situation in Fiji. Several leaders have tried in the past to conduct sensitive and well-meaning face-to-face dialogue with Baini only to be publicly embarrassed by the Commodore. Deliberately distorting any agreements reached in confidence to promote support for his dictatorship. ”

The Prime Minister said he has seen some gruesome photos of soldiers killed under Bainimarama’s orders.

“The photos were taken by a priest I trust. And I am now more convinced at the level of violence and ruthlessness this man is capable of.

“The Pacific is known for peace and harmony. It’s perhaps the last vestiges of paradise in the world. There is no place here for brutal dictators like Bainimarama. What this fellow does in Fiji impacts adversely on the Pacific Islands as a whole.”

Asked about Bainimarama’s allegations that he is peddling to checkbook diplomacy from New Zealand and Australia, Tuilaepa said;

“The Pacific Islands Forum stance remains since 2008 when it suspended Bainimarama and his military regime. My position too has never swayed since December 2006 when he (Bainimarama) usurped the democratically-elected government in Suva. I advised him then – through the media – not to overthrow the Fiji government, and since, have told him over and over again to leave civilian government and go back to the barracks. He doesn’t belong in the seat of government.

“In terms of development assistance, Samoa has had a remarkable record in properly utilizing these financial assistances. The proper checks and balances and good governance practices are in place and grants are effectively utilized where they were supposed to go.

“As per his suggestion, it is the other way around. New Zealand, Australia, USA and other countries actually ask for my views on Fiji and I tell them what I’ve been telling the media through the years. The media here and overseas keep pestering me day and night on my views of Bainimarama and his band of soldiers.”

Asked if he believes Fiji will go to the polls in 2014 as Bainimarama has now promised, Prime Minister Tuilaepa said;

“He has done nothing to convince me he will take Fiji back to democratic governance.

“The public service top echelons are now occupied by inexperienced military colonels collecting high salaries and perks and living the good life. Is he going to corral them back to the barracks without creating another coup?

“Is he going to bring back an independent judiciary and the rule of law? One that will surely see him and his associates court-marshaled for their treasonous and murderous acts? I think not.”

The Prime Minister also renewed his call for the military in Fiji to be disbanded.

“That’s the core of Fiji’s coup culture. Disband the military and let those boys go out and fish and farm and play rugby. Not cooped-up in military forts thinking up schemes to overthrow their government.

“As for the proposed Constitutional Review, it is unnecessary. The 1997 constitution should be reinstated with one major win-win reform. Disband the military!”

Author: Tupuola Terry Tavita of Savali
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Jul 19

Samoan breadfruits feed Africa’s hungry

The humble Samoan breadfruit could save millions of starving Africans

Samoa’s Ma’afala and Ulu Fiti breadfruit could save millions of starving Africans years to come.

Reports from Ghana is that the two varieties of breadfruit – native to Samoa – was introduced last year to the capital Accra September last year in a cooperation between the Ghana Alliance against Hunger and Malnutrition (HAG) and America’s Breadfruit Institute.

A thousand 300mm breadfruit trees were delivered from a mass propagation facility outside of Frankfurt, Germany.

Said Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi;

“That is good. That is our contribution to saving the hungry in Africa.”

Ghana, the report said, has had a breadfruit culture since two varieties of Tahitian breadfruit were introduced there by missionaries in the 1840s.

“But the existing Ghanaian breadfruit variety produces perhaps 250 or 300 kg per year and has a single main season.

“The Ma’afala and Ulu Fiti varieties of Samoa in the Pacific Islands, however, produce 500 kg of fruit per tree per year and have complementary fruiting patterns resulting in shorter hungry months.”

“This is the first new variety breadfruit to reach West African shores since the 1840s when missionaries brought at least two East Polynesian varieties to West Africa from the Caribbean some few decades after Captain Bligh and other voyages that brought them from East Polynesia to the Caribbean.”

Some 60 varieties of breadfruit grow in Samoa, scientific field studies indicate. It is the most diverse breadfruit center in the world.

Author: Tupuola Terry Tavita of Savali
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Jul 19

Old Parliament House to be demolished

Old Parliament House

The old Parliament House at Ti’afau will be demolished this Thursday.

In a ministerial address in Parliament this morning, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi – often breaking into Samoan oratory – said the old building is unattractive and engineers have advised that it was no longer safe.

“The grounds here at Ti’afau are undergoing complete landscaping. There should be enough space to fit in the tens of thousands that will be here in June and other celebrations in years to come. Enough space for the entertainers and the comedians to run around like rabbits while entertaining the crowds.

“Government does what is in the best interest of the people and our country, moving forward. I need not also remind you that when this building was christened in 1972, it became the seat of Parliament. All functions of the old building were moved to this building.”

The Prime Minister added that the old building was unattractive beside the new Parliament House and the new court houses west of the old Parliament building.

But the old site, he added, might not be gone forever.

“There are current talks with our developing partners to build a similar traditional – but enduring – building on the site that will reflect our heritage.”

The Prime Minister said the building was made of untreated timber and expert advice to the government was that it was safer to demolish it was soon as possible.

The building was scheduled to be demolished yesterday but Speaker of the House, La’auli Polataivao, reportedly, stopped the workers from carrying out the job.

Today, the Speaker said he accepted the Prime Minister’s explanation and stopped any debate on the matter despite efforts by the Opposition leader Palusalue Fa’apo the Second to throw the issue open to debate.

Author: Tupuola Terry Tavita of Savali
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Jul 19

“Gee, I am not Bainimarama”, says PM

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Commodore Frank Bainimarama has nothing on me.

This was Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi’s candid response this week to swipes by Samoa Observer editor Savea Sano Malifa that he was acting like the Fijian dictator regarding an initiative to set up a media council in Samoa.

“Bainimarama dictates with a pistol in his hand and I consult in a lavalava,” Tuilaepa said in his weekly radio interview on 2AP.

“Baini’s got nothing on me. Besides, I don’t have an army like him.

“In 2006, Savea as president of JAWS (Journalists Association of [Western] Samoa) conferred on me the grand good governance and media freedom award. This year, his newspaper the Samoa Observer conferred on me their person of the decade award. I am not aware that Savea is also planning to confer on Baini a similar recognition to reward him for successfully shutting up the media in Fiji.”

On top of regular press conferences, Tuilaepa also hosts weekly radio interviews with both of the country’s two biggest radio stations as well as with Samoan radio stations in New Zealand and Australia.

The Prime Minister said a media council – a normal practice elsewhere in the world including New Zealand and Australia – is to provide an avenue where the public can take their complaints about media publication and broadcasting to.

“It is a normal practice in these democratically-run countries thus we too must be a respected democratically-run state.

“But I am a big fan of the media. I’m always enjoying my little tit-for-tat with my old friend Savea. He randomly throws stones at me and I too unleash with my rocks on my radio interviews. With good intentions of course. Sometimes we chat up and he tells me my marbles are too big. I too rub my head and show him where his stones grazed me. There is never a dull moment.”

In the same humorous spirit, Tuilaepa also took a sideswipe at engaging 2AP interviewer Su’a Hessed Ieremia.

“I’ve been listening to you go on about Samoan honorifics and quoting Samoan proverbs about pigeon snaring and Samoan fishing rods. Now I know you have never snared pigeons nor held a traditional fishing rod. Better if you just turned up and said, Hi, how are you this afternoon? Then I will reply, malo Su’a, how did your roaming around town today go? That way the whole two or three people out there listening to our programme will have a good time. I am told more people prefer listening to Radio FM.”

Tuilaepa also imparted some useful marketing skills on the 2AP crew.

“You know, to get more people to listen to our progamme, you start off with, good morning Samoans in London, good afternoon Samoans in Alaska, good evening Samoans in Hong Kong. It doesn’t matter if your shortwave isn’t picked up from there.

“It will certainly be picked up by the owls and the myna birds that inhabit the airwaves and pass it on.

2AP

Established by the New Zealand administration after the Second World War, 2AP is the national broadcaster and its signal is picked up in neighboring Tokelau, American Samoa, the Southern Cooks and the southern islands of Tonga.

The PM’s weekly interview on 2AP is reportedly very popular with the station’s listeners.

Author: Tupuola Terry Tavita of Savali
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