23 Aug 2010

Samoa's Head of State banished from village after building dispute

5:47 am on 23 August 2010

Samoa's Head of State, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, has been banished from Lufilufi, the village that owns the paramount Tui Atua chiefly title he holds.

Village spokesman, Fe'esago Lopi, told the Samoa Observer newspaper that Lufilufi no longer recognises the Head of State as the holder of the Tui Atua title.

He said decision to ban the Head of State from Lufilufi was made in a village meeting on Wednesday.

He said the matter arose out of the construction of a shelter next to the Head of State's residence at Lufilufi.

Fe'esago Lopi said the Head of State did not inform the village of the construction.

The Head of State was not available for comment, but his wife told the paper a court case has established the land the new construction is built on belongs to the Tui Atua.

Cultural adviser at the Head of State's office, Mulitalo Mataia, said a meeting between the two parties is scheduled for next tomorrow.