Jeton angers US officials

Journal 11/15/1985

P1 American UN official enraged by Rongelap Senator’s actions Rongelap Senator Jeton Anjain delivered stinging criticism of the US nuclear testing program and its follow up medical aid to fallout victims in a speech to the Fourth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly in New York October 30. He accused the US of using the Compact of Free Association to avoid its responsibility under the Trusteeship to give Marshallese adequate compensation, and he invited the UN’s Committee of 24 on Decolonization to send a visiting mission to Micronesia before the termination of the Trusteeship. Before his speech, the US Ambassador, Harvey Feldman, objected to the Fourth Committee hearing Anjain and other Micronesian petitioners on the grounds that only the Trusteeship Council is mandated by the UN Charter to deal with Micronesia. British and French delegations also objected to the Fourth Committee allowing the presentation.

P9 Quote of the week From a New York Times article: “Some Micronesians say that if they could only export the many reports churned out by consultants and analysts over the years, they would enjoy a healthy trade surplus.”

Journal 11/14/1997

P1 Time to switch direction “It’s time that we changed the entire direction of education,” said Education Minister Justin deBrum in an interview with the Journal. “We need to ask, where are we heading? And what do we want from the local and national governments, and from parents?” DeBrum, who took over in March, said that all facets of Education activities, including staffing levels, the Asian Development Bank loan, and the community-based governance system, are under review. He is hopeful that a long-dormant Education Advisory Board will be established and functioning by early 1998 to provide advice and recommendations for major reforms in the ministry.

P4 Theater moving Majuro’s new theater is projected to open in time for Christmas, said Gibson’s General Manager Sam Smith this week. The cinema with three screens will seat 312 people.

P13 DES honors students First honor students: Perlynn Beaut, Tarry Helai, Heggar Phillip, Maryann Obet, Helena Edimond, Rolson Jakabot, Alex Lokboj, Melson Lasio, Sylvester Nathan, Truely Lokot, Carinta Jabjulan, Rithie Amanu and Obet Latdrik.

Journal 11/14/2008

P1 $20m: The clock’s ticking With fewer than five weeks left to Kwajalein’s December 17 money deadline — when $20.7 million either gets paid to the landowners or returns to the US possibly never to be seen again — there appears to be little progress to get a new land use agreement or to extend the deadline, despite RMI appeals for action to the US. Foreign Minister Tony deBrum told the Journal last week he would like to see the “lame duck” Republican administration give President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team “the opportunity to look at it before the drop dead deadline.” Pushing back the deadline could be “the way out” of the problem. But in a talk Monday at the College of the Marshall Islands’ Public Policy Institute, US Ambassador Clyde Bishop made it plain that the Compact approved in 2004 is a contract between the two nations through which the US has been granted use of Kwajalein by the RMI government until 2066. “The US will continue to abide by the provisions (of the Compact),” he said. “The RMI has honored and we expect it will continue to honor (the terms of the Compact).” He also stated that without a new land use agreement by December 17, the estimated $20.7 million now in escrow “will return to the US Treasury.”

P4 Wages down by $2.5m Confirming what any business will tell you — that the economy has been slack this past year — is a report issued this week by the government’s Economic Policy, Planning and Statistics Office. The report shows that there was an increase of only 15 new jobs in the RMI between 2007 and 2008. Total wages fell by $2.5 million in FY2008.

P12 Three cheers for Bishop No doubt about it, if a nomination were to be made as to what individual did most in recent years to improve US-RMI bilateral relations, our pick unhesitatingly would be current American Ambassador to RMI, Clyde Bishop. It has been a year since the RMI, largely through Ambassador Bishop’s intervention, was restored to US Postal Service’s domestic designation. It is significant to note that while the RMI has unquestionably benefited from the access to drastically lower postal rates, the US itself has experienced a mini-boom in increased sales in the region. The inbound mail volume, most of it from the US, tripled from November a year ago to September this year. We are enjoying an undeniable win-win and as we enjoy our second year of this significant development, it is fitting that we take a measure of time to appreciate the fact.

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