Re: P.M’s warning shots about matai titles
This is a complex issue but I agree with the editorial that the PM should not stick his nose into it.
This is a matter for the families of Samoa to decide and if they decide to bestow hundred matai titles, that is their prerogative.
As Samoa’s population increases and the number of family members also increase, the bestowal of sa’o titles can go either of two ways. Fa’asafua the titles to ensure that all the different parts of the extended families are recognised, or go through protracted and lengthy Land and Title Court cases to decide who the next sa’o would be.
Many families have decided to take the first route for the sake of family harmony and peace.
The PM’s point about who sits at the village gathering is easily resolved, through the process of ava fatafata and mutual respect.
The number of instances where more than one person with same title, and who attend village meetings, is increasing. You don’t hear though, of violence or ‘boxing’ to decide who sits at the meetings.
There is already an unwritten protocol for deciding these things and it is working perfectly.
We don’t need a government to tell us how to do it.
Re: the second course, there are also court cases, which have been progressing for a long time to decide who the rightful heirs to titles are, and who should be the next sa’o.
Does the PM want this route? It is an expensive and time consuming process and I feel sorry for the overseas relatives who made the trips only to be told that the cases have been postponed for one reason or another.
I say, share the love and have many people having the same title. It is a sign of progress. Manuia le aso.