Limit on matai sa'o Tanugamanono's only objection

The support for judicial reforms proposed by the Government continues to grow as the Special Parliamentary Committee continues to hear from villages in Upolu. 

The meetings being held at the Tofilau Eti Alesana building, Mulinuu, is looking at the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020, Lands and Titles Court Bill 2020 and Judicature Bill 2020.

On Wednesday, the village of Tanugamanono was the first village to make a submission before the Committee, chaired by Gatoloaifaana Amataga Gidlow. 

Limiting the number of matai sa’o (high chief) a family can have to just five (5) was the only recommendation Tanugamanono made to be removed from the proposed changes.

This was confirmed by senior matai from Tanugamanono, Siligatusa Galuva’a Poiva. Other than that, Siligatusa told the Samoa Observer they expressed their support for the bills.

“We have decided to agree and support the changes,” Siligatusa said. 

“After meeting with the Committee today, I can confirm that we are happy with the changes and we also made a recommendation to revise the part where it says that the government should control the number of matai sa’o each family can have.”

Deciding the number of matai sa’o should be up to the families, Siligatusa added. 

“That is the right of the people of the family and it’s not something the government should do," he said.

“In our own humble opinion, we are concerned for the future of our families and countries. It will only cause chaos if we let the government control and give them the power to choose or say that a family can only have five.”

He went on to say that the Committee was happy with the submission they made. 

The village of Papauta was next.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer before making their submissions to the Committee, the village mayor of the village, Taliulu Lupo Fruen confirmed the village’s stance on the matter. That is, they are supporting and welcome the changes. 

Their support stems from the idea that every change is for “the betterment of the country.”

“The elders of the village have met already and we are here to meet with the Committee,” Taliulu said.  “We are now waiting for other matai to join us and we will discuss what we have agreed on.

“Different people have different opinions, and we welcome anyone from our village who wants to ask questions or say something. But we are all supporting the proposed changes.”
 The other villages that met with the Committee on Wednesday are: Leone, Vaisigano, Ma’agao, Vini, Lelata, Vailima, Vaoala, Tiapapata and Afiamalu.


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