Lawlessness Alarm

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 28 May 2018, 12:00AM

Two men are in critical condition at the Tuasivi Hospital after a horrifying weekend at Salelavalu and Salelologa on the big island of Savai’i.

What started as a regular game of billiards at Salelologa on Saturday night turned violent when a fight broke out, kicking off a sequence of sad events. 

The two men from Salelologa, who are fighting for their lives at the hospital, were allegedly beaten by men from Salelavalu on Saturday night.

The Samoa Observer was told that the fight escalated to burning a house at Salelologa where the billiard game was held on Saturday night. 

Gunshots were fired and homes in Salelologa were stoned.

On Sunday night, the men from Salelologa reacted by blocking the road, seeking out Salelavalu villagers. 

The roadblock affected innocent members of the public who were on their way to catch the ferry to Upolu yesterday morning.

Still unsatisfied, some men from Salelologa turned their attention to ransacking the Salelologa market yesterday morning, targeting Salelavalu villagers. 

Video footage captured the men harassing and smashing properties, helping themselves to whatever they could get their hands on.

At press time last night, there was a strong Police presence in the area where things remained volatile. 

Attempts to get an official comment from the Police were not successful last night.

But the Samoa Observer understands that more than 40 Police Officers sailed across to Savai’i yesterday evening. 

Among them were members of the Tactical Unit, Nafanua, Criminal Investigation Division, General Policing, Traffic Police Officers; Forensic Officers and more.

Salelavalu High Chief, Suafo’a Sasagi, told the Samoa Observer yesterday that things had been settled between the two villages.

 The Samoa Observer was at Salelavalu where more than ten chiefs were at the Suafo’a guesthouse following a meeting with Salelologa and the Police.

“We met with the Salelologa Village Council and the Police and we have settled everything,” he said. 

“All that happened over the weekend has been forgiven not only in our village but also our neighbouring village.”

Suafo’a said the Village Council will find the men responsible and they will be dealt with accordingly.

“They will be heavily penalized by the Village Council. We will penalize the culprit and his or her family without reluctance.”

Attempts to get a comment from the Salelologa Village Council were unsuccessful yesterday. 

When the Samoa Observer arrived there, the village was preoccupied with a title bestowal ceremony where the Village Mayor was involved.

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 28 May 2018, 12:00AM

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