Men banished from village

By Pai Mulitalo Ale ,

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UP IN FLAMES: The vehicle burnt last Thursday night.

UP IN FLAMES: The vehicle burnt last Thursday night.

Two men have been banished from the village of Salelologa following an incident last week where a man from Salelavalu was beaten, stoned and had his vehicle set on fire at the Wharf.

This was confirmed yesterday by the mayor for Salogā sub-village, Tiumalu Tupu. The decision followed an emergency meeting called by the Salelologa Village Council on Saturday. The incident happened on Thursday night.

According to Tiumalu, the two men are from the sub-village of Sakalafai. 

It was not possible to get a comment from Sakalafai mayor, Pauli Laki, yesterday.

Tiumalu, however, explained that their village consists of three sub-villages but when incidents like what happened on Thursday night occur, all sub villages meet.

 “There were only two people that were reported to the meeting and the village made their final decision to ban them from Salelologa,” Tiumalu told Samoa Observer.

Tiumalu said the Village Council moved quickly to avoid any further trouble.  “We were informed that the incident happened while chiefs were guarding the village curfew and the chiefs on duty that night went to see what had happened.”

Tiumalu also confirmed that one of the suspects is a prisoner serving time at Tafaigata Prison, who was released on weekend parole.

The Media Officer for the Ministry of Police, Maotaoalii Kaioneta Kitiona, said the Police are investigating and they are waiting for an official report.

On Saturday, a Police officer in Savai’i who spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed the incident. 

“It happened at around 12midnight after the nightclubs closed,” he said.

“The vehicle driven by a male from Salelavalu nearly crashed into a vehicle from Salelologa and that’s what started the dispute.”

The source said the Salelavalu vehicle was stopped in front of the wharf, when it was leaving.

“That’s where young people stoned the vehicle and set it on fire. It was quite scary and we are glad that no one else was involved.

“The driver ran for his life and was lucky to be rescued by the sailors of the Lady Samoa III.”

The Police officer praised the quick intervention of the matai of Salelologa.

 “It was good that matai from Salelologa responded quickly and assisted the Police that night,” he said.

For a member of the public who only wanted to be identified as Ioane, he said the sight of the burnt vehicle was scary. “I didn’t think this could happen in Samoa,” he said. “It was something I’m used to seeing in the movies and those countries overseas. Now it’s happening in Samoa and it’s really scary. “I was scared just watching how angry some of those young men were.”

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