1 Mar 2007

Challenge to Samoan matai title dropped

2:57 pm on 1 March 2007

The high ranking chief of Lalomanu village in Samoa, Fuataga Kasimani Lautusi, has withdrawn his petition to strip a matai title of his village from the Minister of Agriculture, Taua Kitiona Seuala.

The petition was filed in the Lands and Titles court last November.

The case was heard yesterday and in a letter to the court, Fuataga said the divided factions in his village had been reconciled.

The chief was an election rival of the government minister and MP for Aleipata itupa i luga constituency in last year's general election.

Fuataga was accused by the minister and his supporters of introducing new changes in the village including a ban of "sua" or traditional presentations of food, money and fine mats to church ministers in the village.

The chief said it's only him to be given with such a high honour.