WHEN WILL COMMISH RETURN TO WORK?
Apia, SAMOA — Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoli’ai Sailele Malielegaoi has confirmed that the cabinet has yet to decide when the Commissioner of Public Safety, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil will return to work. This was made known during his weekly radio program on Samoa FM. He stated that the cabinet has yet to receive the official notice from the Supreme Court on the status of the case.
This past week, the 256 criminal charges against Fuiavaili’ili which included inciting, counseling and procuring to commit murder, armed with a dangerous firearm; possession of an unlawful weapon; unlawful intimidation charges of insulting words were dismissed, upon a request from the Independent Prosecutor, Kenneth Nigel Hampton, QC hired by Samoa’s Attorney General’s office to Supreme Court Justice Mata Tuatagaloa.
During his radio program, the Prime Minister stated that it’s been made clear in court that the criminal charges haven’t been proven. “In every Ministry, the staff must follow orders from the head of workforce, but declining the orders from the boss indicates that the staff also declines the cabinet appointments, as the commissioner is appointed by the cabinet. He said the police officers sometimes forget their priorities and that is to serve and protect the community, however it appears that is not happening.
DISABILITY FORUM LAST WEEK WAS A SUCESS
Apia, SAMOA — The Fifth Pacific Regional Conference on Disability (PRCD) that was held in Samoa last week was a success. The biennial conference’s platform was to dialogue and discuss issues pertaining to building a more inclusive and equitable Pacific for all persons with disabilities. The Forum was held in partnership with Nuanua O’LE Alofa (NOLA) the national disabled persons organization (DPO) in Samoa and with funding from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
Their theme ‘Building a more inclusive and equitable Pacific for all persons with disabilities focuses on the role of the Sustainable Development Goals in building a more inclusive and equitable Pacific for all persons with disabilities. They discussed disability issues that to date in all its form has yet to be fully mainstreamed into national government policy and translated into action at the national and down to the community level.
The conference brought together people from around the globe to share best practice, challenges and ways forward in ensuring a Pacific that is inclusive of and equitable for all persons with disabilities. At the forum, women and youth leaders with disabilities shared their thoughts, insights and experiences on priority areas of focus in building an inclusive and equitable Pacific for women and youth with disabilities.
COUNSELING SESSIONS WITH SVSG
Apia, SAMOA — Close to 50 women referred from the Supreme and District courts for counseling sessions under Samoa Victim Support’s Group Advocacy Programs in 2016 have completed their sessions. These women had committed violence against a family member or a member of the community, and have been given the opportunity to change for the better, through court ordered counseling programs with SVSG.
SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang told Samoa News that their rehabilitation program, which stated in 2016 focuses on anger and stress management, family relationships, goal setting and spiritual guidance. “From 4 weeks to 3 months depending on the duration of the program as referred from the Courts, these mothers remain committed to change not only for themselves, but most importantly, for their families. And SVSG is mindful of the difficulty in achieving behavioral change.”
Siliniu acknowledged the commitment from the volunteer facilitators from different church denominations, who been working with SVSG in providing counseling for these women. “As a community, we have nurtured the goodness in these mothers, now becoming Champions of non-violence in the homes.”
TUI SAMOA CABLE
Apia, SAMOA — The TUI-Samoa cable is currently in the works and Samoa Submarine Cable Company Limited (SSCC) has tasked telecom infrastructure specialist Flexensclosure with eCentre data center solutions. Emmanuel Delanoue, CEO, SSCC told Samoa News that following the contract signing in Hawaii in January, 2017 construction of the cable landing stations has already begun at Flexenclosure’s factory in Sweden and the ground breaking ceremonies have taken place in Samoa. Operational deployment and full commissioning of both eCentres is planned for June of this year.
The eCenters will terminate the new submarine TUI-Samoa cable, connecting Samoa, Fiji, and Wallis and Futuna. The TUI-Samoa cable will reduce the current dependence on satellite communications and accelerate the launch of innovative new services. Samoan people and the region will benefit from fast, reliable and affordable Internet, which will open up opportunities for social and economic development. Given the national importance of this project Flexenclosure was chosen to supply the cable landing stations as they have a very strong track-record in deploying turnkey, customized and ruggedized solutions able to withstand the harshest of weather conditions like those of the Pacific.
Flexenclosure was founded in 1989. The company is based in Vara, Sweden, headquartered in Stockholm and has additional offices in Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria and South Africa.
SAMOA OBSERVER OPENS FUND FOR SAMOA’S FIRST OLYMPIC MEDALIST ELE
Apia, SAMOA — The current Samoa government policy which disallows the Samoa Government to give a monetary prize for Samoa’s first Olympic medalists, Ele Opeloge led the Samoa Observer to initiate a fund for Opeloge.
Silver medalists Ele in 2008 was robbed of the opportunity to receive her silver medal before the nation during the olympic games in Beijing China. During the Olympic games in 2008, Ele was placed fourth and last year she was informed that the third place medalists was tested positive for the use of drugs. It’s unclear when the medal presentation will take place in Samoa and Ele has been informed that the current standing policie is that Samoa only gives money to gold medalist.
This has led to the decision by the Samoa Observer Newspaper Group to start Ele’s Fund. As reported by the Samoa Observe, Publisher, Muliaga Jean Malifa, it is an opportunity for people who strongly feel that Ele deserves a monetary reward to contribute. “We want to firstly congratulate Ele Opeloge and the Samoa Weightlifting Federation for this wonderful achievement. It’s a proud moment for Samoa and here at the Samoa Observer, we are happy to be able to help to start this Fund to help Ele. We hope the money donated will be a token of the people’s pride and appreciation for what Ele has achieved. We believe that Ele’s story is one that needs to be retold and she deserves to be celebrated. We are hoping that even young children in schools might like to donate a silver coin after learning about her talent and the hard work she put in to achieve her dream of taking part in the Olympics. Who can forget this humble, young woman apologizing because she felt she had let the country down when she was placed fourth in Beijing?” According to the newspaper all donations will be channeled there until such time when Ele’s medal will be presented to her.
LAND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY ENFORCES LOG STANDING TRAFFIC LAWS
The move by the Land Transportation Authority (LTA) to tow and impound vehicles for illegal parking; unregistered vehicles, unsafe vehicles and vehicles that are causing obstruction of traffic, has caused a lot of public complaints.
According to the notice issued by the LTA starting March 1, 2017, they will be exercising this power under the LTA transitional road use management regulations 2011. All the vehicles will be towed to the LTA compound Vaitele and all applicable fees should be paid in full prior to the release of the vehicle and the vehicle will only be released to the owner, to which the vehicle is registered as recorded by the LTA.
Fees will include towing to LTA which is between $80-$150 or more; LTA administration fee of $142, fines and registrations and licensing costs. The LTA also urges the public that all vehicle owners that the vehicles ownership details recoded with the LTA are correct to avoid any unnecessary issues and delays.