25 Aug 2010

Samoa Head of State threatens to resign over village dispute

1:36 pm on 25 August 2010

Samoa's Head of State has threatened to resign if a row with the village of Lufilufi over a shelter he built on customary land isn't resolved quickly.

Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi says a lands court decision issued the customary land to the ownership of the high ranking Tui Atua title, but village leaders are adamant that proper cultural protocols weren't followed for the construction.

Last week, the Lufilufi village council severed ties with the holder of the title, Tui Atua, the Head of State, and banished him from the village.

A meeting was held on Monday with all parties involved and the Registrar of the Lands and Titles court.

Our correspondent in Apia, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, says with the Head of State on the verge of resigning, it's hoped things can be sorted out amicably at village meetings this week.

"He's still banished, but the outcome of the meeting between the two sides taking place at Lufilufi village, should have a compromise, because the Head of State is clearly saying in his letter to the Registrar of the Lands and Titles court that he's going to resign. And that letter, I believe, has also been copied to the Prime Minister, that he's going to resign as Head of State if this dispute within his village and the family is not going to be resolved in a peaceful way."

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia.