No need for an apology

30 December 2015

Dear Editor,

Police Commissioner to apologise? I think not.

There’s always the ideal and then there’s reality. 

The ideal matai system, or at least what we’d all like to think it to be, is one that is supposed to be divinely sanctioned. 

Its ultimate source of authority rests in the heavens. Add to that the new provisions of the Village Fono Act - as implied - augmented by some injections of modern political underpinnings, and the ruling party/government thinks that the matai system is sacred and infallible hence should not be slandered. 

Reality, however, is what the Commissioner hints at. 

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Matai authority is near absolute - if not totally absolute. 

Traditional village fono has, and still does to a large extent, enjoyed autonomous power, exercising legislative, executive and judicial authority. 

One only has to look at some of the court cases in the recent past where matais have been sued in Court (and convicted) for the unabashed execution of their “absolute” and “military style” authority, to see the Commissioner’s claim. Moreover, the word “order” (in the context of authoritative command) is often associated with matai rule. 

Please ask not for an apology from the Commissioner but instead ask first for accountability of those who perpetrate corrupt practices in government. 

Manuia Samoa.

 

LV Letalu

Lalomanu and Utah


30 December 2015

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