“OPEN LETTER TO SAMOA COUNSEL GENERAL”

Dear Editor,

To: Samoa Counsel General (Hon. Auseugaefa Va'asatia Poloma Komiti)

(Ref. Samoa News article dated August 4th, 2016, Page 1&2)

Subject: “Non- Samoa Passports Expiring in Less then 6 months, not valid for travel to Samoa”

1. Page 1, Para 2, Line 3 — “effective Sept. 1 this year, all non-Samoan passports with less than six months validity after the scheduled date of arrival in Samoa “will not be accepted” for travel to Samoa."

It seems to me that this has created the confusion and the contradiction of your subject title explanation stated on the first page of Samoa News when compared with the text of the article. This is the same thing as you had stated on the certificate of Identity (CI).

2.  The U.S. Passports and CI are legal documents utilized by the American Samoa Government for people to travel from and to American Samoa, as long as validated to travel.

CI's: This document is utilized by travelers of American Samoa as substitutes for passports. It has a short durational time to process and also is much cheaper than applying for passports. The CI has been approved by the Governor and Legislature of American Samoa to delegate the full authority for the Attorney General of Am. Samoa to issue for people to travel anywhere in the U.S. as well as other Pacific territories. It has security features authenticated by the Attorney General and the Seal of American Samoa. It is not the document, as you mentioned, that should be used for “emergency purposes only” and not as a habitual/perpetual travel document.

3.  It is the prerogative of the individual to apply for a CI when there is a time constraint, especially people who don't travel too much and the passport is not available.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), as you stated cannot overcome the provisions of the Am. Samoa code of law established under Citizenship, Alienage, and Immigration. The ICAO could apply to the foreign countries under the United Nations jurisdiction. The American Samoa Government is under the Dept. of Interior which was established with major publications untie the provisions of the code of law of Am. Samoa.

4.  Permit Fees - Have you ever thought to negotiate with the Am. Samoa government, as two Samoans, about this diplomatic issue on entrance fees for U.S. Nationals?

What about the U.S. Citizens? Isn't that discrimination for U.S. Citizens to enter Samoa without a permit, except for U.S. Nationals?

5.  We are two Samoan brothers type of Government. We cannot achieve any development goal to benefit our governments if we don't work together.

Coming together is planning.

Working as a team is an accomplishment.

Fa'afetai tele,

Kitara Vaiau, Aunu'u

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