26 Aug 2010

Samoa commission to probe Tui Atua row

1:28 pm on 26 August 2010

A commission of inquiry has been established in Samoa to look into a dispute between the head of state and the village of Lufilufi where his title, Tui Atua, comes from.

Last week, the village's council severed ties with Tui Atua and banished him from the village.

The dispute is over a shelter owned by the head of state and built on customary land.

The village says Tui Atua did not go through proper cultural protocols in the construction of the shelter.

However, the Head of State says a lands court decision issued the customary land to the ownership of the high ranking Tui Atua title.

A meeting Monday with all parties involved and the Registrar of the Lands and Titles court failed to resolve the issue, which has prompted the head of state to threaten with his resignation.

The Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi has agreed to the inquiry.