Rugby fight sparks village dispute

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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A rugby fight during the weekend between Falefa and Luatuanu’u landed seven people in hospital.

The uproar resulted in a roadblock near Solosolo and Police releasing their Tactical Unit squad to calm the situation and allow the flow of traffic.

Village Mayor, Autu Lolesio Tauili’ili told the Samoa Observer that early on Monday morning, the Police Tactical Unit team arrived and tried to calm the situation. 

 “The incident started from the rugby games held in Saoluafata, where our Under 20s were assaulted by the spectators. 

“Seven of our players landed in jail, one kid had a broken jaw, the others required stitches for their wounds on the head and body, mind you this does not include the seven who are hospitalised.

 “Our Aumaga are upset that it was our Under 20 players who were injured, as you know they are only children. 

“So from Saturday evening, the Aumaga took to heart what had occurred and they blocked the road. 

“And I promise that today (yesterday) we will resolve this issue.” 

The Village Mayor rejected claims that Chiefs in the village were involved in carrying out the roadblock near Solosolo. 

“It is not true that the Village Council tolerates that type of behavior. 

“The anger expressed by the aumaga is understandable because our young children were beaten up, but how they are going about releasing their wrath is not acceptable,” said Autu. 

GETTING TRAFFIC TO FLOW: Traffic backed up on the east coast of Upolu yesterday during the commotion.
GETTING TRAFFIC TO FLOW: Traffic backed up on the east coast of Upolu yesterday during the commotion.

Asked about the vehicles that were damaged as a result from the rock throwing incident on Saturday, Autu offered his apologies on behalf of the Village Council.  

“I apologise to the families whose vehicles were damaged as a result, please bear with us as we try and stabilise the situation,” said Autu. 

“We contacted the Police for assistance and that was the sad part to be honest. 

“The heavy presence of the Police did not steer the aumaga away from blocking the road. 

“They continued doing what they felt like doing and when the Police arrived, they took off on foot into the mountains. 

“I apologise to members of the public who were caught in the middle of the rock throwing incidents. 

“With a humble heart, I ask for forgiveness as to what happened.” 

Autu also confirmed that the road was blocked on Sunday at the far end of the village, but the Village Council is not aware of who had carried out the act.

“The young men of the village lined up rocks blocking the road on Sunday night and around midnight, the rocks were removed.

“And then again today (yesterday) hence the heavy presence of the Police,” said Autu.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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