A disqualified election candidate and former Cabinet Minister, Le Tagaloa Dr. Pitapola, has appealed for peace at Sili and in the villages of the Palauli le Falefa constituency.
Le Tagaloa made the call yesterday in the wake of reports that the village of Sili has banished the Associate Minister of Environment, Faumuina Tiatia Liuga and the village’s pulenu’u, Mata’u, for life.
Faumuina, the former Minister of Finance, holds the matai title of Fa'aolatane in the village of Sili.
The banishment follows a Court ruling in which the candidacy of Le Tagaloa, a paramount titleholder of the village, was disqualified under the monotaga or village service requirement.
Le Tagaloa confirmed the ban yesterday.
He said the decision was made last Friday and it involves Faumuina not being allowed to use the Fa’aolatane title or set foot in Sili anymore.
“I received a call last Friday about the decision of the village,” Le Tagaloa said.
“I had tried to calm things down but they (the village council) said that their decision had already been made.
“They said that Tiatia had embarrassed the village and had broken the village protocols with his eligibility challenge.”
Le Tagaloa said as much as he tried, he could not change the decision.
“They said that this is the only way they could bring peace and restore order in terms of the village’s foundation,” he said.
“The pulenu’u was also banished because he did not follow what he was told by the tu’ua of the village that - Le Tagaloa is not required to provide any monotaga in the village”
He added that the Fa’aolatane title is one of Le Tagaloa’s matai titles.
“In Court, that matai (Fa’aolatane) that belongs to Le Tagaloa said that Le Tagaloa should render monotaga. That upset the village because they know that Le Tagaloa is a papa and he is not required to do that.”
Finally, Le Tagaloa urged the village to remain calm.
“All I want is a peaceful election,” he said. “I’ve asked the village council to ensure everything is peaceful and smooth on Friday.”
“I know that there are always better ways of solving anything.”
Le Tagaloa Pita also confirmed that he is appealing the decision and he plans to take it to the highest possible Court.
It was not possible to get a comment from Faumuina yesterday.