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PM notes leaders who struggled for nationhood

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 2, 2012) – Samoa has welcomed the New Year with marking 50 years of independence from New Zealand.

To mark the occasion, a special church service was conducted by the council of churches at Parliament House.

The prime minister, Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, delivered a keynote address, reminding the country of several leaders who had fought in the past for an independent nation such as Namulau’ulu Lauaki Mamoe who was exiled during the German administration.

Tuila’epa has also spoke highly of one of the paramount leader, the late Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III, who was gunned down during a peaceful protest by the Mau movement against the New Zealand administrators.

The two joint head of states, Malietoa Tanumafili II and Tupua Tamasese Meaole, as well as the country’s very first prime minister, Mata’afa Faumuina Mulinuu II, were remembered for their contributions to Samoa’s independence.

All activities and celebration of the golden jubilee will be held over five days in the first week of June, with more than 12 head of states and government leaders being invited.

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