Overseas Samoans debate L.T.C. changes online, together

The “Soa lau pule” group from Aotearoa, New Zealand will host a Question and Answer session with the Samoa Law Society regarding a proposed overhaul of the Land and Titles Court. 

One member, Tulua Wilson, told the Samoa Observer via email they are trying to reach Samoan youth by sending them a message with a link to educate them on three bills before Parliament:

“We have pretty much one month to get a strong clear message out in English and Samoan so our people, even our elders. [We are trying to] reach where there isn’t any coverage to prepare them and have them involved and to know what these bill rights affects will be now and our generations to come," she said. 

The live session will begin at 5.30pm Samoan time on Saturday on the group’s Facebook Page: "Samoans against the 2020 Amendment Bills". 

Guests include the President of the Samoa Law Society, Leiataualesa Komisi Koria, and Tanya Toailoa. 

“Our group opposes the 2020 Amendments. We have asked our Samoan Law Society to help summarise the impacts these bills have not only for our Samoans back at home but our Samoans overseas,” Ms. Wilson said. 

According to their official Facebook page they are a group of passionate Samoans, who come together to learn and talk about Samoan land laws and discuss and share their findings. 

“Though we hail from different villages [and] live in different places and spaces, we are joined by our love for our people, for our culture and for our homelands,” she said. 

“Right now, Parliament is preparing to make changes to our Constitution, and these changes will affect all Sāmoans - even those of us who live overseas. They will impact our lands, and how we live on them. 

“They will have an even bigger impact on the Samoans who have not arrived yet: our future generations.

“The Samoan public has not yet been consulted, and there has not been a referendum or a vote for these changes to be made. So we are calling for this Constitution - and law-changing process to be stopped.

The group acknowledges they while they are not legal experts, they are Samoan. 

“We know that all Samoans have a part to play, and we believe that all Sāmoans should have the time and space to decide what we want for ourselves, for our families and for our communities,” Ms. Wilson said. 

“We push forward with the guidance of our elders and ancestors to do what we can, to play our part in making that possible.” 

 *This story has been amended to reflect the proper spelling of Ms. Wilson's name. 

 

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