Independence Day Address by Head of State of Samoa

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INDEPENDENCE DAY ADDRESS BY THE HEAD OF STATE, LE AO MAMALU O LE MALO, LE AFIOGA TUIMALEALIIFANO VAALETO’A SUALAUVI II. June 01 2021 Residence Matamatanonofo, Falelatai.

Fellow citizens and all the people of Samoa

It gives me great pleasure on this new day to greet all the people of Samoa, living in the country and abroad, and to invite you all to the virtual commemoration of the 59th independence anniversary of our country. June the 1st is when we first unfurled the tricolour; the flag of independence of the first independent state in the Pacific region. We are privileged to have reached this milestone in our lifetime and we attribute this to our almighty God, the foundation of our government and country.  

Fellow citizens; we can never thank God enough for his protection over us and his steerage of our journey throughout the years weathering tempestuous oceans and life’s tribulations to where we are and to our eventual destinies. 

I wish to extend my sincere appreciation to the leaders of all religious denominations in Samoa and members of the clergy for you have continued in supplication to place our woes, difficulties and challenges before God. I also acknowledge the spiritual advocacy of all our people through prayer and fasting, for Samoa to remain a peaceful nation and be rid of animosity and enmity as we are all one big family before God.  We are powerless and void of wisdom and good judgement without Him. 

We continue to witness all the good developments by the government, the private sector, non-governmental organisations including faith based organisations and in particular our village communities. The ultimate outcome of these developments is for all Samoans to achieve a quality life and that no one is left behind. Your collective services to your country through development initiatives is gratefully appreciated and we thank you for utilising all opportunities to assist our people so that they can benefit equitably from the windfalls of development. 

I also acknowledge the important roles of the village councils and all the institutions that contribute to village developments that are internally derived or introduced through programs of the government and other organisations. You are also at the helm of ensuring that we all live in stable, peaceful and environmentally harmonious societies. You are the vanguards for the safety and security of our people.

It would be remiss of me if I did not acknowledge the significant contribution of our development partners namely our partner governments and intergovernmental organisations who continue to assist the development of Samoa on a regular basis as well as in times of emergencies. These partnerships began before Independence and have since expanded with the progressive development of Samoa’s foreign relations as a clear demonstration of Samoa’s adherence to good governance principles. 

Fellow citizens

We remain in restrained conditions as the whole world confronts a deadly virus which has disrupted all activities and taken a huge toll and has altered the world we lived in before the pandemic. We are thankful that to date, we have been spared the pain and heartbreak of loss of life due to COVID 19 and remain free of infections even though the pandemic is a step closer to our doorsteps. 

I have noted that it has been more than a year since the public service and government corporations had been working incessantly to ensure that we remain free from infection. To all the frontline workers and in particular, the doctors and nurses and all health workers; thank you for your commitment to ensure unhindered service delivery. Every contribution whether big or small saves lives and will be justly rewarded. I urge you all to continue the good work and to continue to provide essential services for our people. 

I wish to thank the government and our development partners for facilitating ready access to the vaccines. It is heartening to know that there is a lot more receptiveness to getting vaccinated and keeping the vaccine roll out program on track. We are in total agreement with the adage that prevention is better than cure. 

Fellow citizens, like the ebbing and flowing of the tides, there will be change. These are the norms of life. What is a certainty is that God promises something good that will come out of the storms that bring devastation to our lives. I would urge that you never give up for that maybe the time when the tide will turn.  

I call on the Leaders of the different religious denominations in Samoa and the Clergy, traditional leaders through the village councils and in particular the three pillars of governance through the parliament of Samoa, the executive government, and the Judiciary as well as the Leaders and members of both the Human Rights Protection Party and the Faatuatua ile Atua Samoa ua Tasi Party and every citizen of Samoa, that only God can provide the solution to the current impasse. We cannot achieve unity if we continue to reject reconciliation and the willingness to exercise forgiveness.  

My humble prayer is to seek and ask for God’s peace so that we can begin to forgive and start our journey towards healing and restoration of dignity and integrity to all three branches of government. For He alone selects our leaders and in him lie our hopes for a blessed government for Samoa now and into the future.  

Samoa e, my beloved country, remain steadfast in your faith and trust in God. Let us continue to seek his counsel and guidance, we will wait for his direction and allow him to take stewardship of our journey forward.  

In conclusion, I share with you all and our nation some guiding principles from the Holy scriptures:

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and I will forgive their sin and heal their land”

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time”

And let us always remember the Lords commandment as in John 15:12

“Love each other as I have loved you”

To all the people of Samoa, may we on this day, the celebration of the 59th year of Independence, reflect and gratefully remember our ancestors and those who fought for our freedom, whose sacrifices have enabled us to live in an independent nation. On this day, the youth of Samoa should feel the special pride of being citizens of a free nation; let us ensure this is a legacy they will be proud to pass on.  Above all let us return to God the praise and honour for it was through his grace that we had achieved our freedom

I wish you all a blessed and peaceful 59th independence anniversary of the Government of the Independent State of Samoa.  

SOIFUA MA IA MANUIA