P6 What They’ve Said by Mary Browning This we lift unabashedly from “Periscope,” Newsweek, October 14, 1974: “Although the US formally opposes nuclear tests in the atmosphere, French planes ferrying material to test in the skies over the Pacific earlier this year were allowed to make refueling stops at Majuro airport in the Marshall Islands, a US Trust Territory. The islanders, who have neither forgotten nor forgiven the American H-bomb tests at Bikini and Eniwetok, protested to Washington but their complaints were never made public.”
And, various newspapers dated January 15, 1975, carried an article about Micronesia, which reported on an interview with Friends of Micronesia chief drum-banger Roger Gale. The major concerns which surfaced were for the Defense Department’s plans for Tinian and Palau, the inequities in pay scales (“…teachers from the US receive $12,000 per year while Micronesians are paid less than $3,000”), and a variety of economic and social pressures.
Gale’s interest in Micronesia’s problems began during 1968-1970 when he taught political science at the University of Guam. Friends of Micronesia was organized at about the same time and now has 7,000 members, according to the article. Its primary purpose is to support the Micronesian struggle for self-determination — not an easy goal to accomplish with the “Micronesian struggle” being as fragmented as it is presently.
P1: Bird to Nitijela: Why? High Court Chief Justice Philip Bird has reacted to an unanimously passed resolution of the Nitijela calling for his removal in a comprehensive statement made available to the Journal. The judge said that while he has been made aware of the resolution, he received no prior notice on the matter and was not given the opportunity to be heard before the document was considered. “It is difficult to perceive of a more blatant violation of one’s fundamental right to procedural process,” he said.
P2 Marshalls, Nauru exchange recognition The republics of Nauru and Marshall Islands exchanged formal recognition on Majuro Atoll February 22. President Amata Kabua and Nauru President Bernard Dowiyogo signed the formal papers before reporters and government dignitaries.
P5 Auditor General focuses on auto fee misuse Evidence of misuse of vehicle registration fees has been found, according to the Auditor General’s report to Nitijela. “In testing cash received from registration fees, we found evidence of misuse of public funds and pursuant to the Auditor General Act of 1986, we have referred the matter to the Attorney General for further investigations and appropriate action,” the report said.
P23 Register that vehicle! Emperor Julius Caesar of Ancient Rome was warned to beware the ides of March, or the 15th of March. He ignored the advice. And so was stabbed to death on that fateful day. Sergeant Cline Nathan of the National Police force thinks that many of Majuro’s auto drivers should also be warned about the ides of March, for the 15th of this month is the last day to register a motor vehicle.
P1 MISSA joins list of unauditable entities The Marshall Islands Social Security Adminsitration is one of seven RMI agencies and local governments unable to maintain financial records in an auditable condition for FY1998, according to the RMI Auditor General.
P3 Plaisted’s advice: Use Compact funds wisely US Ambassador Joan Plaisted told Close Up students from around the Marshall Islands that while the US and Marshall Islands “may have disagreements, those disagreements do not affect our underlying special relationship.” She said, however, that both the US and Marshall Islands governments need to be prepared to answer “difficult questions” that will be asked by the US Congress in upcoming hearings. The Congress is expected to ask what happened to the $1 billion US taxpayers have provided since 1986. “Why hasn’t it brought the people of the Marshall Islands more economic self-sufficiency?” she asked.
P19 Most outer islands have malnutrition problems Most children admitted to Majuro hospital for malnutrition-related illnesses are under one year of age, a statistic that hasn’t changed in the past five years. While the actual number of those admitted dropped last year to 35, compared to 68 in 1995, the problem remains serious. Hospital admissions show that while Majuro accounts for the most malnourished children, most outer islands have problems.