3 Aug 2005

SamoaTel builds communications tower on ancient religious site

10:41 am on 3 August 2005

A Samoan high chief on Manono island has criticised the construction of a communications tower on a star mound in Manono

The chief, former Member of Parliament Leiataua Vaiao Alailima has told the Samoa Observer that the move by SamoaTel to put their tower on a star mound is unacceptable.

Star mounds were used as places of worship in pre-missionary Samoa and the one on Manono Island is believed to date back to the 17th century.

Leiataua says the phone company never consulted the leading chiefs about their plan.

He says he will call a meeting of the chiefs to discuss the matter and if the chiefs decide that the tower should be removed from the site, SamoaTel would be asked to relocate it at their own expense.