19 Apr 2006

American Samoan governor urges fight of social ills

3:32 pm on 19 April 2006

American Samoa Governor, Togiola Tulafono, has used his 2006 Flag Day Address to focus attention on social problems confronting the territory.

The territory is marking 106 years under the United States flag with a two-day celebration dedicated to members of the American Samoa Army Reserve who were deployed to Iraq.

Pointing to the unselfish sacrifice made by the sons and daughter of the territory in defending the ideals of freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the governor asked residents to evaluate whether the way they are living their lives today was worth the sacrifice by the men and women in uniform.

The governor said the territory is confronting grave social problems including the growing problem of drugs and what he described as " a social disaster of tsunami proportions."

"Family disorders. This includes family violence, children and wife abuse, abandonment of children, parental neglect which [has] resulted in many youth problems and lately the growth of teen pregnancies. these are problems that require community solutions."

American Samoa Governor , Togiola Tulafono.

Overseas dignitaries attending the flag day celebration include Samoa's Head of State Malietoa Tanumafili II, Princess Fanetupouvava'u Tuita of Tonga and the first lady of Palau, Debbie Remengesau.