P1 The Chinese affair Last month a friendship began between the world’s smallest micro-state and the world’s largest nation. Hans Wiliander, a tall, soft-spoken Micronesian from the island of Tol, Truk Lagoon, stepped down from an airplane in Peking, China for a 20-day visit. His trip was the result of a meeting with United Nations Undersecretary Tang Min-Chao of the PRC during a visit to Micronesia in 1973. “We have begun a friendship,” said Wiliander. His main interest in China was seeing their educational system and community projects which use methods that could easily be applied here in Micronesia.
P6 What do we do now that we have voted to be independent? The results of the Micronesian political status referendum in Pohnpei are, to say the least, confusing. No clear mandate for the remaining five districts of the Trust Territory emerges. What the Congress of Micronesia, the Constitutional Convention, the United Nations, the United States, the Micronesians and anyone else interested are left with is a collection of figures which can either be heaped together in order to show that the Micronesians have been unable to decide what they want, or which can be broken down and carefully scrutinized in hopes of learning just what it is that Micronesians do want. The results: Independence 3,415, Free Association 2,086, Continue Trust Territory 1,596, Commonwealth 382, Statehood 297.
P17 Peace Corps evaluates RMI role Peace Corps has launched a review of its program in the Marshall Islands that could affect the future of the more than 25-year-old program. A Washington, DC Peace Corps representative was in Majuro last week to meet with volunteers, government officials, and former volunteers to evaluate the work of the program here. Marshalls Peace Corps Director Keekee Minor said since she arrived seven months ago, she has seen a fair amount of dissatisfaction among volunteers over their assignments in part because they feel they are not well utilized.
P19 US EPA removing hazardous PCBs The Environmental Protection Authority is now removing all transformers that contain PCBs and the ones that do not. The US EPA was requested by RMI EPA to assist in testing for PCB in transformers on all islands that have transformers.
Journal July 25, 2003
P2 Atolls own doctors arrive from Nepal Health care on four remote islands is about to get a big boost with the arrival of medical doctors. The 177 Health Program for nuclear test affected islanders is stationing a medical doctor on Kili, Enewetak, Mejatto and Utrik beginning later this week for the first time.
P6 Election fevers starts to grip RMI Campaign season is moving into higher gear as the Marshall Islands roll inexorably toward the November 17 election date. A couple of candidates have taken their campaigns to the Internet, hoping to attract voters through cyberspace. Ailinglaplap Senator Ruben Zackhras launched his website at ailinglaplap.com and it’s got all sorts of stuff, including a “roniluial” section that includes vignettes of local gossip, such as comments about incumbent Namdrik Senator Jiba Kabua planning to run from Majuro in this year’s election, and the much-discussed attempted re-entry to Nitijela of former long-time Majuro Senator Tony deBrum via Namdrik. Another candidate has established a website to appeal to computer-minded Marshallese. That’s local businessman Dennis Momotaro who’s running for Nitijela from Mejit. His website is groups.msn.com/DennisMomotaronanMejit.