Samoa Briefs

joyetter@samoanews.com

NO CHANGES IN VISA WAIVER FOR SAMOA, SAYS US EMBASSY

Apia, SAMOA — The US Embassy in Samoa has made it clear that there are no changes to the US Visa Waiver for Samoa citizen to enter the United States.

The announcement was made following an article that is being shared on social media by USA-Radio that says “the US Department of state today updated the number of Visa Waiver programs” for Samoa.

It said, “The Samoan passport holders no longer require visas to travel to the United States. This takes Samoa from the list of countries whose citizens are required to obtain visas for travel to the United States.”

The article goes on to quote US Secretary of State John Kerry that the “State Department arrived at the decision as a way to facilitate business and strengthen ties between the countries.”

However the US Embassy in Samoa in response says, “Please be advised there have been no changes to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program concerning Samoa Citizens. Any Samoa Citizen planning to travel to the United States will need a U.S. visa.”

ACTING POLICE COMMISSIONER NOW SUSPENDED

Apia, SAMOA —Acting Police Commissioner Samoa Mulinu’u has been suspended with pay as of Tuesday (Samoa Time), in the ongoing investigation into suspended Police Commissioner Fuiavailiili Egon Keil. The suspension took place within two days of Fuiavailiili being suspended. (See story in Monday’s issue of Samoa News)

Samoa’s suspension with pay was also done by the Cabinet, which had suspended Fuiavailiili also with pay. Acting Prime Minister Tuitama Dr. Talalelei Tuitama confirmed to Samoa News that the decision to suspend Samoa was made at the cabinet level.

During a brief phone interview he said there are issues that have come up that led to the decision, but he cannot discuss the details. He said that Assistant Commissioner Leiataua Aviga Salale has been appointed as Acting Commissioner in the absence of Commissioner Fuiavailiili and Assistant Commissioner Samoa.

Meanwhile, the Samoa Police have charged one of their own, Police Officer Sivelio Lui on allegations that he swore profanity towards other police officers when they were carrying out the arrest of suspended Police Commissioner, Fuiavailiili on Monday.

Lui is with the  Tactical Operations Squad (T.O.S) who intervened when the Senior Police Officers tried to place Fuiavaili’ili under police custody. Officer Lui is scheduled to appear in the district court on November 30, 2016 to answer the criminal charge of “insulting words.”

As reported earlier, Fuiavailiili is facing 10 charges which include conspiracy to commit murder and numerous charges of unlawful possession of prohibited weapons which total up to ten criminal charges.

E-YOUTH HUB LAUNCHED BY SAMOA NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL (SNYC)

Apia, SAMOA — Samoa’s National Youth Council has launched their E-Youth Hub which is one of the components of the One United Nations Youth Employment Program (Y.E.P) that focuses on providing youth with information and employment services to facilitate their successful entry to the labor market. 

Launched last week, SNYC says this component aims to address issues youth have with the limited access to information such as vacancies, employer skills demand, preparing job applications, interview skills and work ethics.

According to the SNYC their E-youth Hub is the youth connection to the national e-platform hosted by Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labor.

”At this current stage, the E-Youth Hub is at its development stage before it is trialed with a certain number of youths prior to its launch later this year (2016),” SNYC says.

It is a reestablished project led by the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development through the Division for Youth. The establishment interim phase started in March 2011 with further support and overlooked by the Ministry’s TALAVOU  Program Steering Committee and the Samoa National Youth Advisory Committee.

The Ministry’s goal in re-establishing Samoa’s National Youth Council is to mobilize responsible youth citizenship to lead and help with the implementation of youth development projects and programs.

Youth under S.N.Y.C is defined as persons from the ages of 18 – 35. It is a membership based organization with 132 Village Youth Representatives who are mandated under S.N.Y.C to deliver programs and services to all the youth groups at the community level. S.N.Y.C currently hosts 3 types of memberships i.e. Village Youth Representative, Individual Members and Organization Youth Representatives.

S.N.Y.C is the platform that addresses issues affecting youth such as climate change, unemployment, sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender based violence, substance abuse and many more.

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