31 Jul 2009

Samoan village chiefs reprimand prime minister over comments

3:21 pm on 31 July 2009

A group of Chiefs from the village of Lauli'i in Samoa have told the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi to not repeat disrespectful comments against one of their high chiefs.

In a statement, the village elders said the prime minister's reference to Laulii chief Maposua Solomona Toaila as an "avaava fish" has had a negative impact on the entire village.

The referral to the avaava fish is sensitive because the fish eats human waste.

Maposua is also the President of the People's Party.

The Laulii village release says they decided to strongly advise the Prime Minister to ensure "comments of such nature should not be repeated due to their implications on matai of Samoa."

They also issued a reminder to Tuilaepa that he and others are the leaders of Samoa who "should speak with deepest respect for the people of Samoa."