In this the seventh and final post of this series, I share the significance that I see in the Tealiki land case being heard at appeal in 2018. It needs to be seen in context, the Prime Minister coming under increasing pressure from the accusations on social media, a global trend of Samoan dissatisfaction with the corruption in their motherland, the rise of Social Media and the Internet, a global trend based on Agenda 21 agreement to deny indigenous land-holders customary rights and a huge financial squeeze on the way. Put this into spiritual terms and you have a “Time of Distress”. I consider this an important post.
I have no doubt that the Tealiki land theft case is a slam dunk – Mika and his relatives are the rightful descendants of Tealiki. But whichever way you approach the matter, the rightful descendants of Tealiki Apai, of Rarotonga have lost their lands – pretty much all of it. Even gaining a win at appeal raises so many questions about how to proceed that they’ll probably be tied up in courts for decades and will gain nought at the end of the day.
What then about justice? Where is God and what is He up to in all this mess?
I think the key to this all is to understand His values. He never once fought for His rights. He had them. He exercised them but He simply spoke the truth and worked with those few who heard Him and obeyed Him. Jesus did this to perfection and it cost Him His life, but so also did many before Jesus – they spoke the truth and to do so was counter-culture of the day.
In Samoa, the Samoan culture is an idol. Truth is sacrificed for looking good; we tell white lies to avoid shame; we play politics or be diplomatic when there is the potential to offend an elder. All this is idolatry, plain and simple. Now I hasten to add that the mighty dollar and capitalism and democracy are idols in the West, so this is not a claim from an outsider to belittle Samoa, it is just stating fact.
The Lord wants us to look to Him and to trust Him. Him ALONE! Relying on a court for justice instead of doing what He wants, and what He says is destined to failure. The point is that God wants US. He wants us to hear him and do the right thing.
At a country level too, the same thing applies. One cannot expect a corrupt Prime Minister to repent and apologise for his greed and immorality when he knows that the rest of Samoa is doing exactly the same! It’s just not going to happen, sorry! But when individuals get serious and buck the trend, paying the price for being obedient to Him and doing this BEFORE Fa’a Samoa, then you can expect real change. I hope that the bad boys in the Tealiki case get their ‘beans’ and get shown up for who they really are. I wish that the Hunters and Patus and the Ah Liki’s are shown for who they are . . . but even more I wish that little people all over Samoa who have lost as a result of theft and injustice learn from the Tealiki case and do the right thing. It is when they turn from their wicked ways that He promises to heal their land. Healing is conditional.
Should the Tealiki descendants win, I hope that the people rise up and stand for justice in their masses. I would love to see the Tealiki case as an important turning point in Samoa’s history. Be it a sobering call for personal purity as a result of losing the battle for their land, or as a triumph of good over evil with a favourable appeal, I have the feeling that this case is set to make history for Samoa.
Across the globe, powerful forces such as the banks, United Nations and businesses are implementing the privatisation of customary land. This is called Agenda 21, a stated intent to centralise power and control. It is the driving force behind recent land law changes in Samoa. It is the driving force behind government control (sale and lease) of lands to vested interests. It is the blueprint for enslavement relating to land ownership. Samoa is simply one of more than a hundred countries party to this trend. Should the Tealiki descendants win on appeal, watch for law changes and political forces to neutralise the threat, quickly and firmly.
This is not just negative thinking – it is realistic. Scripture talks about the Times of Distress that we are now entering into. Injustice, oppression, corruption and more abound during this time. I think that this cse will raise the issue in peoples’ minds more than any other case, and for that we need to see it in its spiritual context. If the Lord loves Samoa, He will use things like the Tealiki case to draw people to Him, one after the other after the other. The time is right.
My advice then is to hear and obey. For those outside of Samoa to observe and learn. For those inside of Samoa to support justice, but also for those involved in the case to do the honourable thing – to demonstrate humility and obedience sufficient that God gets the glory. I also seek to encourage others in Samoa in similar situations to step up to the mark – get your own house in order, then take a step forward in faith to rectify the matters of injustice. God knows there are so many in Samoa!
Finally thanks to all who have shared with me along my journey of discovery. The Tealiki case has not been easy for me but I have a much better understanding of how corruption works through the government and business circles having studied this one. Faafetai soifua.