It’s all up to the families

Dear Editor,

Re: Fiu on Tui Atua’s customary lands claim  

Well there we have it ladies and gentlemen. Fiu Mataese wants to avoid the courts because he thinks the court process is subject to “human frailty” and ultimately results in him losing his case.

On the one hand, he argues strongly that the L.T.R.A. is unconstitutional yet on the other hand; he wants to avoid taking his unconstitutional arguments to the Courts to test whether he is right or wrong. 

If he feels so strongly about those Samoans who he says will have their lands stolen, why won’t he fight for them in court?

In my opinion, I think he knows his constitutional arguments do not stack up and he is afraid of the courts confirming that for him once and for all. 

Him and his S.S.I.G. people seem to think it is better to mislead people outside of the court. Therefore, all these protests and online videos are a publicity stunt.

I would have more respect for his avoidance of going to Court if he acknowledges that the L.T.R.A. is not unconstitutional, that there are safeguards in there for fraudulent conversion of customary land, but he still thinks the end results would be to the detriment of Samoan people (for example, 100 year leases would have the same effect as a permanent alienation of customary land).

Anyway, at the end of the day, what any family does with their lands is nobody else’s business. Not Fiu, not mine.


Petelo Suaniu

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