By Lagi Keresoma
APIA: Friday 13 July 2012: Police will set up camp at Satapuala in three weeks time when work on clearing the proposed site for the hospital starts.
This was confirmed by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi during his regular programme on the Government Radio 2AP yesterday evening.
It was a few hours after a group of Satapuala matais, women and untitled men demanded for the Prime Minister to come down and meet them on the clearing infront of the Government building instead of meeting at the Prime Ministers office on the fifth floor.
The Prime Minister told listeners that “a band of a small group will not hold the development of the country and people.”
He also said that the proposed hospital funded by the United States aid will not only “benefit the people of A’ana and close by districts, but travellers from overseas who might need medical attention.”
The proposed site is very close to the Faleolo International Airport, Aggies Resort and several other hotels along the western coast of Upolu island.
He emphasized that if Satapuala persists in creating trouble, then legal action against the trouble makers will be lodged.
Tuilaepa said that the matter could have been resolved yesterday if the people of Satapuala he was supposed to meet with turned up.
Yesterday, the villagers sent their Mayor, Ga Sakaria to a told the Mayor to bring in only the key people to meet with him at his office. This was rejected by the group after which their orator Vaili Mimita delivered a long speech at the building.
The Prime Minister reminded the listeners of a similar incident where a former Cabinet minister from Satapuala made a public speech infront of the government building and no one was there to acknowledge and respond to what he was saying.
The longstanding grievance over Satapuala lands is their claim to return all the land previously taken and now used by the Faleolo International Airport and adjacent land formerly owned by the Western Samoa Trust & Estates that the Samoan Government were entrusted upon indpendence in 1962.
The Prime Minister insists that the land legally belongs to the Government. The hospital is the latest development to be located in the area and the plans to sublease the land to Samoan businesses for a business development centre have been shelved when the village protested and squatted the land.