27 Jul 2009

Questions over funding of American Samoa's promotional week in Hawaii

6:19 am on 27 July 2009

The planning for a Samoan Heritage Week in Hawaii is going full speed ahead despite the funding to help pay for the event being stalled in the American Samoa parliament , or Fono.

Four staff members of the Department of Commerce travelled to Honolulu last week to finalize preparations for the week long celebration set from August 2-7.

American Samoa officials are working with officials in Hawaii and the office of the mayor of Honolulu.

Fono's Vice Speaker ,Laolagi Fonoti, expressed disappointment with remarks by Governor Togiola Tulafono that the celebration will go on ahead, despite public sentiment weighing strongly against spending 200-thousand US dollars on the event.

Laolagi Fonoti said if the event was that important, the administration should have introduced the bill during the Special Session and not wait till the last minute.

He also said said he's curious to find out how their travel and other expenses for the Hawaii event are being funded, when the money has not been passed.

The Fono is not in session until August 10.