13 Nov 2007

Samoa police approach church ministers to help end illegal land occupation

11:55 am on 13 November 2007

Church ministers serving different Christian churches in Satapuala village in Samoa have been approached by the police in order to find solution to the illegal occupation of government land by villagers.

The high ranking chief or Sa'o of Satapuala, To'alepaialii Toesulusulu Si'ueva, says the church ministers in his village met with the police last Friday after they were served with a letter from the police commissioner, Papalii Lorenese Neru.

To'alepaialii says the matter is sensitive and did not want to elaborate more .

The government has plans to build a township on the occupied land.

But a village matai who did not want to be named says the police have gone to the religious leaders because previous negotiations with the village matais including the high ranking chief have failed.

The assistant police commissioner and spokesman, Papalii Li'o, says police are taking patrols of the land and take notes of illegal activities such as the cultivation and planting of crops.

Police he says will consider if the villagers should be charged or not.