How we resolve conflicts in Samoa
Let me start by saying that I don’t condone the actions by the Luatuanu’u youths in stoning the police.
What is concerning though is the negotiation tactic of the Police Commissioner, with the threat to use firearms to root out the troublemakers. This negotiation style sounds similar to that used by the leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world.
I am sure that we have brothers and sisters in the Police and we don’t want to see violence inflicted on them, however, the Commissioner’s approach is unhelpful.
He needs to be the voice of calm and reason against the emotive language of the Prime Minister, not exacerbate the situation by threatening to resort to the use of firearms.
An old guy at the makeki keeps reminding me that this is not the first time that the Police force members have been threatened with violence, or bashed, stoned, etc, etc.
The police response in each instance has been calm and proportionate.
Older members of the force have employed that old, true and tried method of Samoan negotiation style, relying on the ava fatafata of the fa’amatai system, using soalaupule and relying on respect of authority and the excellent reputation of the police force.
Threats of firearm use is unnecessary and counter productive.
But wait, the Samoan Police Force don’t have any of those old matai’s with infinite wisdom and tofa mamao to calm situations like this.
They have all been sacked.
If this is Samoan policing in the 21st century then I am anxious for I don’t want to see another makeki incident.
Commissioner, Samoa is not a suburb of San Francisco.