20 Feb 2007

Samoan MP banned from his home village

7:28 am on 20 February 2007

In Samoa, the member of Parliament for Vaimauga West, Sililoto Tolo has been banned by his village of Moata'a after the Lands and Titles Court delivered a ruling on the ownership of the villages meeting grounds.

According to the Talamua online news service, the village's decision is not an eviction order but only bans the MP from further participation and having a voice in the affairs of the village.

He and his family will also have access to his house and plantation in the village.

The court case centered on the ownership of the villages meeting grounds called Falefatu and the Lands and Titles Court has ruled that the meeting ground belongs to no particular family or individual but the village.

Sililoto and his side argued that Falefatu belongs to their family of Tanumapua and that only Tanumapua and Manogiamanu rule the village of Moata'a and that there is no Asi in the village.

Asi is one of the prominent titles in the village with one of the holders now Samoa's High Commissioner in Wellington and another Asi title holder - a former Consul General in Auckland.