The real issue with customary lands

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Dear Editor,

Re: Deputy P.M. assures about customary land 

Ninety nine per cent of aiga lose and less than one percent will own all.

Once again she fails to address the Torrens System and the death blow it delivers to native peoples. 

When Aiga Customary land is registered under S.32 of the Land Titles Registration Act 2008, even as a lease, the sovereignty or ownership is transferred to the H.R.P.P. government and the person on the certificate of title becomes a slave to the government.

99% of Aiga lose their ancestral rights and the H.R.P.P. government refuses to discuss this truth.

The Torrens System and SS.25 & 32 of the Land Titles Registration

Act 2008 are Breaches of the Freedom from Discriminatory Legislation Article 15 of Samoa’s Constitution:

Section 25 of the L.T.R.A. 2008 creates a land race favouring Samoans resident in Samoa.

Section 32 of the L.T.R.A. 2008 alienates the customary land rights of all

Samoans by the Torrens System process of individual title and indefeasibility and then transfers the sovereignty of all land registered to the H.R.P.P. State.

15. Freedom from discriminatory legislation –

 (1) All persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection under the law.

 (2) Except as expressly authorized under the provisions of this

Constitution, no law and no executive or administrative action of the State shall, either expressly or in its practical application, subject any person or persons to any disability or restriction or confer on any person or persons any privilege or advantage on grounds only of descent, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, social origin, place of birth, family status, or any of them.

 (3) Nothing in this Article shall:

 (a) Prevent the prescription of qualifications for the service of Samoa or the service of a body corporate directly established under the law; or

 (b) Prevent the making of any provision for the protection or advancement of women or children or of any socially or educationally retarded class of persons.

 (4) Nothing in this Article shall affect the operation of any existing law

or the maintenance by the State of any executive or administrative practice being observed on Independence Day:

PROVIDED THAT

the State shall direct its policy towards the progressive removal of any disability or restriction which has been imposed on any of the grounds referred to in clause 

(2) and of any privilege or advantage which has been conferred on any of those grounds.

 

Maua Faleauto

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