P1 Demand $60M for denial rights By Giff Johnson Several major issues highlighted the first round of renewed Micronesia-US negotiations over the future political status of Micronesia. In a key development, the Micronesians presented a proposal to the US demanding specific compensation for denying the more than three million square miles of ocean area in Micronesia to any third nation for military purposes. For this “denial right,” the proposal called on the US to pay $60 million annually to be distributed among the six island districts on an even basis. “The concept of military denial is like a fence,” commented a Micronesian negotiator. “The US intends to put a fence around Micronesia to keep other nations out. We believe we will accommodate the US need to deny our lands, waters and sky to others, but the value of this accommodation should not be ignored.” Captain James Elster, of the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, articulated the US position against payment. “Denial is worth a great deal to us,” he said. However, “I’m not willing to put a price on it.”
P2 Keju: Most delegates against parliamentary constitution Opposition thorn Jinna Keju claims here that 60 percent of the members of the Marshall Islands Constitutional Convention are against a recently drafted parliamentary-type constitution for the Marshalls and prefer instead a presidential form of government similar to that presently in the United States. Keju, who is openly identified with the minority opposition group Ainikien Dri Marshall, says most convention delegates oppose the present form of the constitution but are afraid to say so for fear that their iroij will remove them from their land.
P6 New health, PW, R&D secretaries A major rearrangement of permanent secretaries has been erected by the Public Service Commission. Three incumbent secretaries have moved, a new secretary has been named, and one is still being looked for. Health Secretary Hemos Jack has been transferred to the government’s new legal aid office. Donald Capelle has moved from Resources and Development to replace Jack at Health. Rien Morris, former secretary of Public Works, has been named to replace Capelle. Promoted to Secretary of Public Works is Herbert Shoniber. Meanwhile, PSC continues to recuirt for a new secretary of Finance to replace Vincent Muller, who recently took over as commissioner of banking.
P18 Tole Mour ending Marshall Islands service MariMed Foundation announced that its 156-foot tall ship, Tole Mour, will return to Honolulu in December, where it will be devoted full-time to supporting leadership development and marine skills education programs for Hawaii youth. The foundation expects to continue selected medical and youth program activities in Majuro, but is suspending its outer island, ship-based health programs in the Marshall Islands.
P21 And the winners are… Junior basketball league champions Majuro Heat players Billy Peter, Yoshi Boas and Freddy Chong Gum received their trophy at the CMI court Friday from Hackney Wase, director of sports and recreation. In the number two position are the Bad Boys. Jason Langidrik received the Bad Boys’ trophy from Jeimata Nokko Kabua.
P3 Kessai meets George President Kessai Note and heads of other Pacific nations met with President George W. Bush for one hour last Friday at the East West Center in Hawaii. “This meeting did more for US-Pacific island relations than what we’ve tried to do for the last 10 years,” said Sitiveni Halapua, director of EWC’s Pacific Islands Development Program, which hosted the gathering.
P4 Three cheers for Co-op’s Sage, Moni and Asia Three Majuro Coop School students were named October students of the month. Second grader Sage deBrum, third grader Asia Chong Gum and sixth grader Moni Elbon were recognized by the school.
P18 RMI: Regularly Missing Inventories The 2002 audit is critical of RMI procedures for US federally-funded programs. It identifies lack of rules for purchases, lack of an inventory of fixed assets, lack of an audit for the Head Start program, and lack of financial status reports for federal grants.