21 Mar 2006

Samoa's PM counters American Samoan criticism in US report row

1:43 pm on 21 March 2006

The Samoan prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele says the American Samoan representative Mailo Sao Nua should apologise to Samoans in American Samoa for speaking on an issue that does not involve the American Samoa Government.

Tuilaepa was reacting to a call by Mailo that he apologise for criticisms he directed at the US State Department over a report referring to Samoa as a one party state.

Tuilaepa is quoted by the Samoa Post newspaper as saying that like the State Department Mailo fails to understand the seriousness of the allegations made by the US report.

Tuilaepa says the insinuation that Samoa is mistreating women and children is an insult not only to all Samoan men but to the culture.

He has also rejected suggestions by Mailo that his comments may have consequences on US assistance for Samoa.