“Joking” Samoan PM says churches “joking” about Casino

The Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, well known for his light hearted comments to the media, is suggesting that the country’s National Council of Churches was acting in a similarly jocular manner when it warned of the perils of casinos and gambling in Samoa.

Last week the Chairman of NCC, Reverend Kasiano Le’aupepe, a deacon in the Catholic church, said he feared the perils of gambling will shake Samoa’s Christian foundation.

Tuilaepa said that Le’aupepe must have been “joking.”

The Prime Minister, who is also the chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union, has also been in the news for suggesting that the IRB is racist and its referees are idiots.

In the course of an interview after the match in which Samoa narrowly lost to Scotland the Prime Minister said, among other things that “If the siren sounds and the referee continues the match unnecessarily, then a rock hitting his head would be justified!”

The editor of Savali, the Samoan Government’s official newspaper, Tupuola Terry Tavita, says that Tuilaepa’s remarks have been misunderstood. “At the heart of the matter is, there are subtle nuances in the Samoan language and particular to Samoan dialogue and its intended Samoan audience that gets lost when translated to English,” said Tupuola.

“What is good-humoured ribbing when said in Samoan could mean something else when quoted in a formal newspaper article in English and read by people who are not accustomed to Samoan humour and the Samoan colloquy,” he said.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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