I have a nightmare

Dear Editor,

Ia soloa i le vailalo ma ia soloa i le aufuefue (Let the betrayer be doomed underneath the ground for eternity and never seen or heard of again.)

I have a nightmare. I see the leaders of this country looking down into an enormous steel bowl. Inside the bowl are the citizens of Samoa not connected to the government.

Halfway up the bowl on opposite sides are two tunnels facing each other.

One tunnel has a sign on it which says Exit to Overseas while the other says `Cheap Bank Loans no repayment required if you have family land’.

I can see that it is a difficult struggle and Aiga family members scrambling to stand on each others’ heads to reach the tunnels.

I see leaders pouring acid and throwing rocks down on the heads of the people and I see words on the rocks - petrol prices, food costs, electricity and water and health charges and I see a mountain of Gold building up behind them.

The looks on the faces of the people are terrible; they are so afraid

wondering what has happened to the feagaiga, the sacred covenant, of leadership.

The leaders are ecstatic with joy as all the land will be theirs and they are rejoicing.

Apart from the two tunnels there is a ladder and someone is paying the matai in each village money every week so that they can climb the ladder and avoid the acid and rocks, but they must leave their families behind.

At the top of the ladder, two thirds of the way up the bowl, is a ledge with a bench running all the way around. The matai sit there comfortably with their nuclear families as they watched the hardships facing the people and hear the protests and suffering.

Seated with them are the church men casting their fishing lines down among the poor. Their lines are baited with promises about a better life not now but after this life in a magical universe. They are pulling up millions of dollars. They are happy to help the people by collecting God’s Taxes to pay for their houses in the Promised Land.

Any matai who do not follow orders from above (?) are sent down the ladder to suffer with their family.

Every 5 years the leaders throw lollies down into the bowl but mostly to the matai and church men who hold the people in a grip of iron.

The hearts of the matai grow hard against their own family as they are pressured for more money by the Church and Government.

As the lands start to pass from father to son, all other relatives are forced to pay rent or leave the land and live in slums around Apia. All matai titles are awarded to the wealthy landowners.

As the years pass brothers and sisters are encouraged to betray each other to meet the basic needs for living.

With taxes imposed on land and land values rising soon all land comes to be owned by fewer and fewer and large areas of land passed into foreign ownership. Banks are quick to lend money and take the land if the debt is not repaid. Taxes on land jump so high that that families sell off their land and jump like frogs for the tunnels.

No more land no more remittances.

The Aiga are walking on a death march dying off passing to the ancestors as despised, landless individuals who have never raised a voice in protest or stepped out of line but trusted their leaders who live in comfort while leading the Aiga to the Slaughterhouse.

Samoa’s population jumps to 5 million - 4.9 million foreigners mostly Chinese - .1 Samoan , only 100,000.

The name Samoa is felt to be inappropriate, Ancient and filled with too many bad memories-too brown not chic enough for Europe or China so the Islands found so many thousands of years ago are renamed - New Horizon.

Children in the villages run and play landless with a future in the factories or on the large farms owned by foreigners or as maids or servants to the wealthy.

Maua Faleauto

[email protected]

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