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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

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Satupuala Urged By Samoa Ministry To Sort Out Issues
‘Breakaway’ chiefs establish sub-village after community dispute

By Lanuola Tupufia

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Jan. 29, 2013) – The formation of sub-villages is not the way forward in disputes, according to Samoa’s Minister of Women, Community and Social Development.

Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Leiataua has reiterated the decision by the Land and Titles Court and advised the village of Satapuala to meet and resolve their issues.

A breakaway group of five matai had established their own sub-village after a dispute with the village council.

But Tolofuaivalelei made it clear that Government did not wish to become involved and the village needed to follow advice that had been given.

"We are not encouraging the village to have a sub-village," he said. "We don’t want the government to get involved in village affairs.

"The court has made its decision for the villages to settle the matter and have one village council and I agree with the decision. We will meet with the village next Monday at the To’oa Salamasina Hall to discuss the matter."

The Land and Titles Court delivered a decision in November regarding a complaint lodged by the Alii and Faipule of Satapuala in relation to the establishment of a sub-village by five ostracized matai.

The complaint stemmed from the refusal of five matai led by Vaili Tatupu, to pay a fine the village had imposed as a result of disobeying regulations.

The punishment for their actions included their being ostracized from making any further contributions to the village or taking part in any activities whether developmental or other. The sub-village was established on 6 October of last year.

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