Thanks to the P.M. for his kind invitation

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Dear Editor,

Re: P.M. laughs at protest plan  

The Mau March on 16 December 2017 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Vaisigano Bridge is to remember our fallen Mau leaders, such as Lauaki Namulauulu Mamoe, and their families and is intended to be a yearly event. All of the public are invited to attend.

Samoa Solidarity International Group (S.S.I.G.) was founded by a small group of Samoans based in Samoa, Australia, New Zealand and the United States, to raise awareness around issues affecting Samoan people.

Apart from celebrating the lives of our Mau heroes, the march draws attention to two issues destroying the lives of the people of Samoa – corruption and the alienation of customary land rights of Aiga in breach of the Constitution.

This has led to the growth of a political class, which feasts while the majority suffer. Those who profit have no complaints and fight tooth and nail to protect their enterprise.

Yet this destroys the lives of the people within a nation. Financial resources intended for infrastructure, healthcare and education are diverted so that a few can enjoy luxuries.

The behaviour of Samoa’s H.R.P.P. government removes any possibility of impartial justice for all as required by Samoa’s Constitution.

Those who profit see themselves as above the law. They pass the proceeds of their work on to their children and it is in their interests to suppress Democracy and the proper sharing of community resources to benefit all.

As to the alienation of customary land from Aiga, in January of 1998, at the very beginning of Prime Minister Tuilaepa’s first term, the Asian Development Bank published a report saying they were dissatisfied with the amount of borrowing and lending going on in Samoa.

The A.D.B came to a deal with the government:

1) privatise the state-owned enterprises, and

2) pass laws allowing mortgages against customary land.

Neither the parliament nor the Samoan people were asked to help decide about these radical changes to the customary land law. 

So there was no consultation at all and consultation cannot happen after the unlawful agreement was made.

We the people of Samoa formally give notice that we demand the repeal of the Land Titles Registration Act 2008.

All customary land leases of three years or more must be registered under S.32 of the L.T.R.A. 2008.

By registering customary land leases under the LTRA 2008, a forbidden alienation of Aiga land rights takes place.

Section 32 of the L.T.R.A. 2008 is quite clear that the person, who registers a customary land lease, holds it in their name absolutely free from all other estates and interests that are not so recorded.

except the State can:

1) pass laws to grant itself rights over that land,

2) enter, go across or do things on land for [a public] purpose or

3) recover taxes, duties, charges, rates or assessments by proceedings in respect of land; or

4) to expropriate (take) land.

5) to restrict the use of land.

Registering a customary land lease under the LTRA 2008:

1) Passes absolute control and ownership [sovereignty] to the HRPP State,

2) Alienates [unconstitutionally] the ancestral customary land rights of not only the person, who registers the lease but every Aiga member.

3) Grants the person on the certificate of title a freehold title and no right to protest any act of the State regarding that land.

The Constitution is quite clear that without a National Referendum of all voters in which 2/3 agree to the changes to the landholding system that the rights of Aiga may not be alienated [taken] howsoever, meaning in any way.

S.S.I.G. thanks the Prime Minister for his invitation to present our demands to Parliament and we will attend Parliament at his invitation on 19 December 2017 at the Parliamentary session to present our demands to the Speaker of the House to be tabled and discussed.

 

Faleauto Simi Maua Taua 

03 December 2017

Spokesman for S.S.I.G.

fsmtaua@gmail.com

© Samoa Observer 2016

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