14 May 2007

Tributes from Pacific leaders follow death of Samoa's Head of State, Malietoa Tanumafili II

6:11 am on 14 May 2007

Tributes are being made by Pacific leaders following the death of Samoa's head of state, His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili the second.

The Governor of American Samoa, Togiola Tulafono, described his Highness Malietoa as the might of all of Samoa.

The governor said he was the icon of Samoan leadership, Samoan democracy, Samoan compassion and the epitome of excellence in leadership.

Fiji's Foreign Affairs Minister ,Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, says the death of Malietoa is a loss of the entire Pacific not only Samoa.

A two day state funeral for His Highness is scheduled for Thursday and Friday in Samoa.

His body will lie in state at Parliament House on Thursday.

The government has declared both days public holidays in honor of Malietoa's passing.