Dear Editor,

Please allow me to share my condolences with our brothers and sisters of Samoa and Tonga who have suffered in the recent natural disaster to hit the region.

The past days have been the most devastating for our Samoan and Tongan brothers and sisters, with the tsunami tragedy that has hit them.

Today the current death toll count in Samoa has exceeded the 100 mark and many people are still searching for their loved ones in between the rubbles.

It is just sad and heartening to see how people are affected even after just few days of the tragedy. In TV last night, a Samoan who was residing in New Zealand went home (Samoa) after the tsunami to check on his family just to find out that his home was no where to be seen and 12 members of his family were feared dead.

It was indeed heartening and sad a disaster, even when seeing it on TV.

In the pasy days and hours, many countries and aid donors have began sending in relief assistance and supplies to the survivors of the tragedy. It is encouraging to see humantarian aid to starting to pour into the two countries.

The sad factor however is that the disaster has happened at a time when our small island economies are hard hit with the global economic crisis and financially we are almost incapable to assist at the bilateral level.

So what this calls for is individual support if not by way of direct technical and financial support then through our prayers and thoughts. Let us pray that the children, women and men who are most affected be comforted by the Grace of God so that in the midst of darkness there is light, and in doubt and despair there is hope; where there is sadness, there is enlightenment and where there is nothing to eat or drink there is love and care to see them through.