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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (April 23, 2000)---The 300 member group from the village of Sagone paid tribute to assassinated Minister of Works Luagalau Levaula Kamu on during their traditional performance.

Sagone was one of the six villages from Samoa invited to perform in the traditional song and dance festivities for American Samoa's Centennial celebration.

Luagalau, who represented the district that included the village of Sagone in the Parliament, was shot to death during a political function last July.

Luagalau lead Sagone during their participation last year to the American Samoa Flag Day and hinted to the American Samoa Government at the time to be invite back for this year's most important event of the history of the Samoan Islands.

The group's message comes a week after former cabinet ministers Leafa Vitale and Toi Aukuso Cains were found guilty of plotting the murder. The two men were sentenced to death by hanging. Leafa's eldest son, Alatise Vitale, pled guilty to pulling the trigger. He’s currently serving a life sentence.



By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (April 23, 2000)---The weeklong Centennial Flag Day celebration in American Samoa came to a close Friday with the lowering of flags around 7 p.m. and a spectacular fireworks display lighting up the skies above Veterans Memorial Stadium and Pago Pago International Airport.

Before the flags were lowered, a proclamation from U.S. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt was read by his representative, Ferdinand Danny Aranza, the director of DOI's Office of Insular Affairs.

Babbitt declared that America pay tribute to the territorial government that guarantees prosperity and security for future generations, reaffirming the bond between Americans and American Samoans.

In response, Governor Tauese Sunia reaffirmed American Samoa's allegiance to the United States.

"Thank you America for the 100 wonderful years and we look forward to another 100 wonderful years of our relation with you," the governor said.

"From the beginning of the week, at the Centennial church service to the moving raising of the flag to the fautasi races to the village song and dances to the church choir singing to the sport events, and everything that has happened this week, I think there is no other place in this world that can claim a better celebration," Aranza said.

"At this time, in this place, the people of American Samoa are the most beautiful and gracious people in all the world," he said.

Aranza and his wife Sonja wore a traditional ie faitaga and puletasi, respectively.

The final display of the Flag Day activities was a unique performance by the Samoa Royal Police Band, which also played the songs to lower the U.S. and American Samoa flags.

Although the official festivities have come to a close, American Samoa's 100-year relation with the U.S. government will continue.

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