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The Samoa Solidarity International Group (SSIG) Inc held a peaceful protest in Apia to coincide with the visit of the Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao.
Meeting next to the Central Bank of Samoa Building in town, SSIG president Nonu Uni Fonoti said they wanted to tell the Manila-based multilateral financial institution that “Samoa needs its land and not ADB money”.
“This is the bank where all the money and loans of our Government is coming from, and they are also behind that Land Titles Registration Act 2008 — where we are absolutely deprived of our rights to our customary lands,” he said.
Upon hearing of the impending visit of the ADB President, Fonoti said the group decided to seize the opportunity to get their message across through protest.
“Once we got the okay from the Samoa Police Commissioner and our lawyer that we were allowed, we came bright and early,” he added.
“The President (Takehiko Nakao) arrived around 9 and he noticed us,” Fonoti said, but paid them little attention.
In terms of what messages they wanted to get across to the ADB President, he said: “Samoa is not for sale. We would like to keep our land as it has been passed down from our ancestors. They have fought for these lands and we are going to keep it that way.
SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS
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