AMERICAN SAMOA CONCERN OVER WESTERN SAMOA'S NAME CHANGE TO SAMOA

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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (July 28, 1997 - Samoa News)---Two American Samoa Senators have raised concerns about Western Samoa officially changing its name to Samoa.

Senator Levu Solaita asked Senate President Pro-Tem Moaali 'itele Tu'ufuli if the Fono, particularly the Senate, will issue an "opinion" regarding Western Samoa's name change.

"Are we going to respond to Western Samoa's name change?" asked Senator Levu. "There are people who are against the change, since it now sets the tone to look like there is only one Samoa."

Senator Tuana'itau Tuia pointed out that the Fono needs to meet to discuss this "important matter."

"I'm sure there are many people who would like to voice their views over the issue," he added.

The proposal to change Western Samoa's name to simply Samoa originated with Prime Minister Tofilau Eti Alesana, and Parliament voted its approval last month.

Tofilau said the country already is known by various organizations around the world, as well as the United Nations, as "Samoa," and an official change had to be made.

American Samoa Governor Tauese Sunia has said publicly that he has no problem with the name change.

House Speaker Mailo Sao T. Nua told the Samoa News last month that it's up to the leaders of the independent state to run their country their own way, even if it meant changing its name. He cautioned, however, that Pacific Islands nations and other countries around the world might mistakenly consider Eastern Samoa and Western Samoa to be one country.

Stories from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to >samoanews@samoatelco.com

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