Samoa govt ban on village could be lifted

Samoa's government will this week move to lift the ban it imposed on the village of Luatuanu'u, following a youth blockade of roads in April.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi met a matai delegation from the village council, who offered an apology and urged that government reconsider the ban.

The government measures included banning the village rugby team from taking part in any district or national rugby tournaments and disqualified villagers from the Recognised Seasonal Employers Scheme in New Zealand.

Talamua Online reported that more than 15 village chiefs from Luatuanu'u led by the MP Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo met with the Prime Minister last week and asked for forgiveness.

After the meeting, the village mayor, Autu Loleiso, told Talamua that the government's ban had major effects on their village.

"The ban initially imposed on us will be uplifted in 2020. It is too long for us, so my village decided to see the Prime Minister and ask for his forgiveness and to reconsider his decision. So we are very happy with the outcome." Autu said.

In his weekly interview with Talamua Online, Tuilaepa said, "this is the kind of case that is resolved using the fa'amatai system of mutual respect".

"We have reconsidered the decision and I told them to please not obstruct the police work and the Ali'i and Faipule should be in the forefront to protect our police officers and not to injure them."

Meanwhile, 10 young men from Luatuanu'u appeared in court last week charged with throwing stones, being armed with dangerous weapons and obstructing police work.