26 May 2011

Manu'a transport a political issue says American Samoa senator

10:18 am on 26 May 2011

The senator for American Samoa's District Number Two says the purchase of vessels for transportation between the Manu'a islands and the territory's main island of Tutuila is all about politics.

The comment comes as Port Administration prepares to get the Manu'as' sole means of transport, the government vessel MV Sili, up and running again after weeks in dock undergoing engine repairs.

During that time supplies of fuel, frozen food and bottled water in the Manu'as have run out.

Senator Velega Savali says there're meant to be other boats for the Manu'a group but he suspects they've failed Coastguard inspection.

"To me it's all about politics and the friends off-island where they want to sell the boats to our government here instead of having make sure that the boat is reliable and it's suitable for the Manu'a transportation."

American Samoa's Senator Velega Savali.