Tag Archive: Prime minister

Women among Apia riot arrests

RIOTS: Family members of some of the detained youngsters at Apia Central Police station.

Six women are among 30 people arrested in connection to the violent riots at Vaisigano Bridge during the weekend.
Assistant Police Commissioner, Le’aupepe Fatu Pula confirmed the arrests during a press conference at the Apia Police Station, yesterday.

Le’aupepe said the riots were sparked by a fight between the youth of Apia and Matautu that erupted after the nightclubs closed on Friday night.

“It worsened on Saturday morning and it continued well into Sunday morning,” said Le’aupepe.
The Police investigation has also found that mothers were involved. Some of them were intoxicated.

“What’s shocking is that from what we’ve found out so far, the violence was instigated by adults,” the Assistant Commissioner says.
“They literally pushed the youth to join in the riot, which then resulted in the situation getting out of hand.”

The involvement of mothers is deeply distressing.
“Mothers should’ve been home at that time to tend to their children,” sayid Le’aupepe.

“They should be gathering their families for evening prayers and not encouraging them to join the violence.”
Twenty of 30 people arrested will appear in the District Court next Monday, 19 July 2011. They will face charges of being armed with a dangerous weapon and property damage.

On Monday, the traditional leaders of Matautu and Apia – Toomalatai and Seumanutafa – and their delegations met with the Minister of Police Sala Fata Pinati and Police Commissioner Lilomaiava Fou Taioalo to discuss the brawl.

The fight engulfed the eastern end of Beach Road – along Vaisigano Bridge – Friday and Saturday night.
Apia orator Tuiletufuga Siaosi Tuiletufuga – who spoke for both villages – said the youths involved do not belong to their respective villages.

“As far as we know, they are from other v

illages who have settled in our area. And we (Apia and Matautu) have decided that all those involved will be sent back to where they came from.

“We also want to assure the Police that we will not interfere with their work. Anybody that was involved in the fight, lock them up.
“We are ashamed of what has happened. Matautu and Apia are one village.

We assure the country that we will not stand idly by but will do our part as village leaders.”
“I’d like to assure government that this will never ever happen again.”

The two villages requested government to install streetlights along their inner roads, as according to Tuiletufuga, “these bad elements tend to congregate in the cloak of darkness.”

Minister Sala Pinati assured that Electric Power Corporation management will be directed to install the street lights right away.
EPC workmen will be there in your villages working towards that end before the end of the day.”

The meeting was called by Minister Sala at his office to seek a remedy to continuing violence that has, according to Tuiletufuga “tainted the good name of our villages”.
Sala pointed out that government’s concern was with the destruction of private and public property and the poor image it has given the country as much of the fighting happened in front of Aggie Grey’s Hotel.

Over 30 people – mainly youths but also including women – were arrested by Police Saturday night and a sting raid – involving over 70 officers – early Sunday morning at Matautu.

Several officers suffered minor injuries during the street fracas Saturday night.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Maliegaoi said government is seriously considering readopting corporal punishment to discipline offending juveniles.

“It was administered by the Police during the colonial days and it worked. Perhaps we should go back to it.
“But the big question being, where were the parents in all this? Perhaps this is the result of going off to bingo every night with no one supervising their kids.

“Church leaders in these villages also have to do their part in improving spiritual guidance for these young ones.”
The Prime Minister thanked the Police and Fire Services’ quick response Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
The Police is reviewing its riot response and looking at investing in riot gear and training.


Aigaletaule’ale’a F. Tauafiafi





The riots in Apia last weekend have challenged the role of the church in society.

Possible causes and a number of answers have unearthed with the village councils and the Police coming together to protect Samoa’s tranquility.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, the matai of Apia and Matautu and the Minister of Police, Sala Pinati all agree that to church plays a vital role in order to avoid riots and civil unrest.

Reverend Nu’uausala Siaosi Siutaia, of the Apia Protestant Church, agrees.
“This is our duty, this is our work,” he said.

It’s not about getting people to go to church.
“It’s about getting people to be re-born in the church.

We can, preach and preach and preach but many times we don’t have the effect. It’s from within the person because as Paul said, ‘whoever is in Christ is reborn’.”
That’s where the answer lies and where the church needs to work, he said.

“This is it. If we fail, we are failing to produce new people for the kingdom. We should not be after church-going people because it does not necessarily mean you’re in the kingdom. That’s where my vision is.

The solution has everything to do with us, Ministers of the cloth.”
The PM Tuilaepa has said the church needs to step up to the plate.

“Church ministers need to remind and advise parents of their roles because there are times when parents lapse in their role. So when their children are involved in something like what happened and police arrest their children then they realized they haven’t done their parental duty.”

Tuilaepa added that the Government is being proactive to keep peace and order in Samoa through a couple of initiatives.
First is the increase in the number of police outposts.

“We have new ones in Afega and in Savai’i.”
He confirmed their effectiveness with the police post at Vaitele reducing the number of incidents in the neighbourhood in which he resides.
Second is increasing the number of colleges in the rural areas.

Graduating rural senior secondary schools to colleges is important “as it keeps students in their constituency and under the supervision of parents and villages. And that means they don’t come to the main centres and beyond that window of control.”
He expects a reduction in the type of school violence that briefly erupted last month as a result.

The government target is “twenty-five colleges by the beginning of next year that includes Falealili, Aleipata and also Savai’i.”
Deep in the c

entre of last weekend’s riots is Reverend Nu’uausala.
So far, the cause of the riots is still being investigated by police.

But one report says it started from a small fight between Apia and Matautu youths that escalated with the influence of parents over the two days.
The riots left physical scars on his church and emotional and spiritual wounds on the man.

But from the pain he’s come out swinging.
“In many ways we thank God for the improvements in development, our way of living and so forth but unfortunately it also develops and bring bad thing.

“And that’s a big concern”, he said.
He calls it a paradigm shift of development and Samoa is suffering its consequences.

“Because the availability of news and media and all these things have an effect through what we see and what we hear. And our youths copy and increase those bad habits coming through.”
But his main issue is with alcohol.

“In my personal view alcohol the cause. I wish the night clubs can be taken away and there are counseling services available to the people who cannot handle their liquor – this is a national problem.”

I wish said Rev. Nuuausala, “there’s a way to ban alcohol. I know it’s a bad word for those who love their beer because its something where they go to enjoy and relax but if it becomes a root of evil then where should our responsibility and priorities lie?

“Is it right to let that evil roam and be at risk to abusers? Should we let them drink to beyond their control and do nothing?”
The effect of alcohol he says paralyses, “your system, your way of thinking, your sense of balance, of morals. It’s physiological so if you drink alcohol and get drunk those are the impacts.

“But it’s the individual that is affected who inside, has the will to respond positively.”
He said for people who switch to something wild because of alcohol or drugs, “Messiah is in you and can help give them control and counter the physiological effects of the evil.”

Drugs, he said is also another key cause for the deteriorating moral fibre of youths today.
That was apparent when the church he said was deliberately attacked.

“The respect our forefathers is eroded that things supposed to be sacred. And that’s a reason for great sadness.”
The solution he said, “All of us were born with the same good and bad things in us. But its from within us where the solution is found.

“I know that because there are Reverends in the church who came from that background of gangs, drugs and so forth. And they know what happened and they know where they are now. To me that’s the only hope.”

If people know inside that they are doing something wrong then they steer away.
That’s what happened in countries where there have been a revival said Rev. Nuuausala.

“In Wales and certain parts of Europe people do not go to night clubs they no longer gambled because their lives have been changed when they have Christ in them.
“It boils down to us the church. This is our duty, this is our work.”



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