Customary lands, Tuilaepa and Bainimarama

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Dear Editor,

Re: Lawyer rejects customary land threat 

Iíd like to ask Ms. Stowers Fui how can a legal system that canít even conceive of customary traditional rights to lands protect those rights for the people that own these customary lands? 

The answer is her white manís legal system cannot. Never has been able to and never will be able to because they are incompatible thought processes. 

One of the most interesting pictures I ever saw regarding the promise of wealth, and opportunity for the worldís poor and their rights to their communal traditional lands was of a woman. 

She was crying and in absolute terror standing in front of her communal farmland with one arm outstretched and the other hand holding a cell phone to her ear while an army of first world bulldozers were descending upon her and her lands to level it for whatever purpose the new owners wanted it for. 

Iím assuming she was trying to call her police for help. She was alone, crying against the bulldozers. Thatís development for you, she had no land, no rights, no one to call, but she had a cell phone. 

Thatís the real story of Ms. Stowers-Fiuís argument for Samoan rights to their lands under their Constitution in a white manís courts over customary lands against the banks who believe that they too have rights to the land because of the leases they have loaned money for. 

Traditional rights and white manís rights to lands are incompatible and the courts are designed to uphold the rights of those who believe land is to be privatized and owned as a commodity. 

They cannot conceive of land in any other way.

One other thing to note in comparing Fiji and the leadership in Fiji and Samoa and the leadership in Samoa is that if the Fijian people were getting screwed over by the palagi and their law courts Bainimarama would not be afraid to toss the culprits out and nationalize these companies for the Fijian people. 

He is not afraid of the international white manís economic/legal institutions. Tuilaepa on the other hand is afraid of these white man-run institutions and he would sacrifice his own people so that he could still play footsie with the powerful British/American institutions and the people that run them that call the shots.

 Bainimarama is no coward to these dominating forces if they try to push him around too much. He did it once with the British/Indian contingency in his country. 

He did it to some American companies in Fiji and he would do it again.

Bainimarama is not afraid to be called a dictator by these first world overlords and he is not afraid of their sanctions. Heíd kick them all out in a heartbeat.

Tuilaepa is too scared because of his own cushy economic position in playing by the white manís rules. The reason Bainimarama can do this is because when he takes money from these groups he uses it to develop his country for the people of Fiji so that if he ever needs to kick them all out he has everything already in place for the survival of his Fijian people. 

Whereas Tuilaepa doesnít so he remains in a dependent fearful state of existence from these land privatizing overlords and their legal system and their institutions that keep the rich rich and the poor poor. 

Bainimarama is not afraid to keep yearly poverty data while the only data on poverty that is on record in Samoa is 2008. This to me shows who really has it in their heart to improve the lives of his people and who has it in their heart to be a puppet for their own survival. 

Bainimarama just gives off so much more of a protective aura than Tuilaepa. If I were Ms. Stowers-Fiu, I wouldnít even attempt to compare Fiji and its leadership with Samoa and its leadership. There is no comparison.

 

Wendy Wonder 

Canada

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