P.M. says evening curfews must not interfere with public roads
Villages guarding evening curfews are not allowed to interfere with members of the public using public roads.
This is illegal, Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, has explained.
“I always talk about this (road blockage during village curfews) particularly in relation to those villages with curfews,” Tuilaepa said.
“They protect the government roads during village curfews and that’s very stupid.”
Tuilaepa believes village curfews should be focused in the mainland.
“They should protect their own people. The main aim of curfews is for people to go and do their faigalotu (evening prayers), not to mess with people travelling on the road.
“Sometimes when vehicles speed on the road, they show them sticks. Go and focus on the village and not interfere or stop vehicles on the road.”
Lavea Tautolo, an elderly father from the village of Vaitele-fou, believes curfews are really important in Samoa.
“Our family is from Safotu, Savai’i. We moved here in 2009 because of the children’s education and other family commitments.
“But in our village in Savai’i, we focus on the village and its people, especially the time of faigalotu.
“It’s good that the Prime Minister has raised this again but I think only a few villages do this.
“We need to wake up and protect our people, not the vehicles on the road. Tuilaepa is right because I’ve seen some of the villages do this.
“They block the main road during curfews in the evening.”
He said villages should focus strictly on their curfews to avoid any problems in the future.
With villages like Vaitele-Fou, Lavea said it’s good to have a Village Council for those areas in Samoa.
“In villages across Upolu and Savai’i, the authority exercised by the Alii ma Faipule was vital in keeping the peace,” Lavea said.
“Same with these areas in town, they should all come under an Alii and Faipule, even though the Prime Minister criticised some of the village councils of not doing their job right.
“But things happen for a reason. The village councils keep the peace, law and order in the country.
“We need to focus on the right direction for our future generations.”