Public air their views on the “fake news” charge by P.M.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Saíilele Malielegaoi has not backed down from his ìfake newsî claims in recent days against Government critics and those raising concerns about customary lands alienation. Reporter Yolanda Lavatai and photographer Talaia Mika meet members of the public to get their views.
Tavita Puipui, Vaivase Uta, 32
“I don’t speak for everyone, but personally it’s up to the person if they want to sell their land or not and who they sell it to. Whatever the owner decides on, that is entirely up to them, and they should have that right. But with Asia Development Bank assisting Samoa in terms of improving public services and such, we should be grateful.”
Abe Faletagoai, Letogo, 30
“I don’t like Prime Minster for a lot of reasons and I am concerned that a lot of things are happening and are going to happen is being discussed behind closed doors. OLP is being upfront about issues concerning our customary lands and we would just like the honest truth. Our people’s concerns are unheard, and it is not foolish to demand answers, protest what people know is right.”
Paul Amiga, Siusega, 21
“I am young and there’s a lot to look forward to for the future. However, what is to say about the following generations. Can the Government confirm that their future is safe? I wish I could say that I trust the Government entirely, but so far they have only given us more reasons to question their motives, especially with how he responded to S.S.I.G protests.”
Palota Tauau, Siusega 29
“It’s hard to say who is right and who is wrong because both sides have a point. But why not confront issues properly like civil men. Name calling and pointing fingers solve nothing!”
Mimisa Alaivaa, Manono Tai, 21
“Who wouldn’t not be concerned about S.S.I.G and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi’s feud. S.S.I.G is making a statement and protesting something we should be worried about, our lands. I hope we can get to the bottom of this so that we can be rest assured. But in the meantime the Government is the head here, and I am going to have to trust that they are doing the right thing, for the right reasons.”
Bernie Mika, Vaimoso, 35
“It is right that I am worried about our customary lands. I understand that we allow people from other nations like China to lease land but that is as far as I am going. Samoa does not need them to buy land. Samoan’s land belongs to Samoa.”