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By Lewis Wolman

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (May 26, 2000 – Samoa News)---Joseph Matua is not willing to give up the "dot-as" internet domain name, his lawyer recently told Governor Tauese Sunia.

Tauese told Samoa News that Harold Carroll, Matua's lawyer, visited him in his office and told him that Matua has the legitimate rights to the domain name and would fight to keep it.

Tauese reportedly replied, "I'll go after it through all legal means if there are millions of dollars at stake." Carroll replied that there was not even hundreds of thousands of dollars involved, let alone millions.

The Governor also told Samoa News that Carroll said the brouhaha here was the result of sour grapes from John Wasko, a local resident who Carroll believes unsuccessfully sought to purchase the rights to the "dot-as" domain.

Wasko denies the allegation, which Matua had earlier made public.

Carroll also met with other local officials during his brief visit, including Speaker of the House Aina Nua. According to reliable sources, Carroll told the officials that Matua would not give up the domain name without a fight, and it would look bad for ASG to go after his client for not living in American Samoa because he is disabled and that is why he does not reside here.

Recently, letters supporting Matua surfaced in a Fono lawyer's report on the dot-as situation. The report states that a federal file contains three October, 1999 documents supporting Matua: a certificate from Governor Tauese Sunia, and general letters of support from Lt. Governor Togiola Tulafono and Director of Education Dr. Sili Sataua.

Togiola recently told Samoa News that he wrote the letter last October (before the dot-as controversy surfaced) in response to a request from Joseph Matua's mother. He said the letter was not based on the dot-as issue, which he was unfamiliar with at the time.

Togiola's letter states, "This is to commend you in recognition of your work on the World Wide Web. Congratulations to you.

"I often browse through your website, and have enjoyed the contents thereof and the information contained therein. You are doing a remarkable job in serving American Samoa through publicizing it to the world, as well as serving as a site for our people all over the world to communicate with one another.

"Keep up the good work. I wish you all the best in your endeavors, and I sincerely hope and pray that you will continue to succeed as a young Samoan who cares very much for the homeland.

"Again, congratulations and my very best regards to you and your family.

"Faamanuia le Atua i au taumafaiga uma. Soifua."

Items from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

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