P4 Does Majuro need a full-time mayor? The Majuro Chamber of Commerce passed a resolution during its regular meeting December 29 asking the District Administrator to create a full-time position of magistrate for the Darrit-Uliga-Delap Municipality. The present position of magistrate is held by Birash Joash, a middle-aged soft-spoken Marshallese who works full-time for the department of education. According to Birash, he receives a salary of $100 each month in his position in addition to $424 monthly from his government job. Asked if he would favor making the magistrate job full-time, he replied, yes, and added that the DUD Council has been considering the same thing and had approached the District Administrator about the matter. The DUD Council is composed of 10 members: Jerry Lakabung, Jima Alik, Jeltan Lanki, Marcus Henry, Lepton Lajirik, Kanami Yamamura, Albattar Jamore, Enoch Libokmeto, Jorak Langrine, and Libwel Tareo.
P12 Total indigenous population Enewetak: 1880 40, 1895 60, 1910 70, 1930 108, 1946 128, 1947 0. Bikini: 1880 30, 1910 80, 1930 127, 1945 162, 1946 0.
P1 Decide or divide The Marshall Islands has had one of the most stable governments in the Pacific region under the reign of President Amata Kabua. But with his death December 20, the country has been in a state of shock and uncertainty as numerous contenders scramble to fill Kabua’s vacancy.
P3 One of the great South Pacific leaders Marshall Islands President Amata Kabua, who ruled his nation for 17 years as the first and only president, was buried Monday in Majuro. Pacific Island leaders and US officials, including a personal representative of President Bill Clinton, heaped praise on Kabua for his leadership and commitment to democracy at his state funeral before the burial. Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Sir Julius Chan, speaking at the state funeral at Nitijela, called Kabua “one of the great South Pacific leaders.”
P7 ‘We want to hear from President Clinton’ The Bikinians have one final hurdle to leap before they launch major nuclear clean up work at Bikini Atoll. Bikini Mayor Tomaki Juda told the Journal that “we need to hear from the President of the United States that Bikini will be safe.”
P7 With thanks from Germany The Imroj Protestant Church received a substantial contribution from Sibylie Kreisel and her family, who live in Bavaria, Germany. Their great uncle died in Jaluit and was buried on Imroj, a grave site that the Imroj community has cared for for many years.
P3 Yokwe Resslyn! Kalmer Latak’s new fuel ship Resslyn powered up to Uliga Dock on Wednesday afternoon for a traditional Marshallese welcome. The landing craft was built in Indonesia last year and is named after one of Kalmer’s daughters. Captain Lanruj Abon, four Marshallese crew and some Indonesian crew brought the ship to RMI.
P10 Tension-packed Nitijela session Before a jam-packed and sweltering Nitijela chamber audience, Irooj Litokwa Tomeing was elected President of the Marshall Islands Monday, heralding a change of direction for the Marshall Islands government after eight years of rule by Kessai Note’s United Democratic Party. The election returns an irooj to the presidency after eight years under Note, the first commoner to be president of the country. Monday’s historic vote was one hour late to start, as the assembled senators and hundreds of observers waited with tension mounting for the arrival of Speaker Tomeing and President Note. The first vote was for Speaker, with Aelon Kein Ad party chairman Senator Chris Loeak nominating Majuro Senator Jurelang Zedkaia for the post. UDP Senator John Silk nominated Jaluit Senator Alvin Jacklick in response. The vote: Zedkaia 18, Jacklick 15. For Vice Speaker, UDP Senator Tomaki Juda nominated Majuro Senator Alik Alik, while Loeak countered by nominating Namu Senator Kaiboke Kabua. The voting seesawed back and forth. The tension in the chamber was palpable as the vote tied on 16-16 with one final tie-breaker…that went to Alik. Loeak then nominated Tomeing for President. Likiep Senator Donald Capelle nominated Note for a third term in office. The final vote: 18-15 for Tomeing.
P22 Faces of the new Chamber There’s a new leadership lineup at the Marshall Islands Chamber of Commerce following Tuesday’s election. Hirobo Obeketang, rooms manager at Marshall Islands Resort, is the new President, taking over from outgoing President Jack Niedenthal. He is joined by Vice President Mike Slinger, Secretary Jim McLean and Treasurer Salome Andrike.