FIJI DECOLONIZATION SEMINAR IGNORES SOME PACIFIC AREAS; GOVERNOR TAUESE SAYS AMERICAN

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SAMOA NOT COLONY

SUVA, Fiji (June 22, 1998 - Fiji Times/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---Some participants at an international Seminar on Decolonization are disappointed over the omission of discussion of issues pertaining to West Papua, Bougainville and French Polynesia, the Fiji Times reports.

The seminar was organized by the United Nations and hosted in Nadi.

French Polynesian pro-independence leader Oscar Temaru said he was shocked to learn that the UN Decolonization Committee refused to discuss matters he wanted to raise about his country.

He said this was probably because the committee was controlled by superpower nations like France and the United Kingdom.

Mr. Temaru said he would seek support from Pacific Island countries to get French Polynesia on the decolonization list of countries.

Non-government organizations representative Lopeti Senituli was another disappointed delegate.

Mr. Senituli said he was not happy about the fact that the seminar did not agree to a proposal that French Polynesia be reenlisted on the decolonization list, together with West Papua.

Mr. Senituli said he would take up this issue with the South Pacific Forum, where he hoped a resolution could be made.

Mr. Temaru said that France would not release control over French Polynesia because of the wealth it was getting from the island nation.

He said it had hoped the decolonization meeting would hear and address concerns over France's control in Tahiti.

"But I am happy I was here as a witness. I sure will be looking for support," Mr. Temaru said.

The people of Tahiti had for a long time demonstrated against colonialism which sometimes resulted in bloodshed, Mr. Temaru said.

"We will continue to fight and get support from different organizations around the world and government leaders," he said.

He said that the other French colony, New Caledonia, was only enlisted on the decolonization list after a recommendation from the Forum meeting held in Suva in 1986.

It was later presented to the UN General Assembly in New York.

Title -- 1491 POLITICS: Seminar refuses to discuss colonies Date -- 22 June 1998 Byline – None Origin -- Pasifik Nius Source -- Fiji Times, 22/6/98 Copyright -- Fiji Times Status – Unabridged

This document is for educational and personal use only. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright source before reprinting. PASIFIK NIUS service is provided by the niusedita via the Journalism Program, University of the South Pacific. Please acknowledge Pasifik Nius: niusedita@pactok.net.au http://www.usp.ac.fj/www/usp/soh/journ/nius/index.html

 

GOVERNOR TAUESE STATES "AMERICAN SAMOA IS PROSPEROUS AND HEALTHY"

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (June 19, 1998 - Samoa News)---Governor Tauese Sunia this week personally told the United Nations Pacific Regional Seminar on Non-Self Governing Territories that American Samoa does not want to break its association with the United States.

"And now the ultimate question. Do we need the United Nations' assistance to decolonize?" the Chief Executive noted in his speech delivered before the seminar Wednesday this week. "The simplest and most direct answer is "No." We do not because we do not consider ourselves a "colony of the United States."

The Chief Executive cited many prime examples of how American Samoa has benefited from its current status with the United States and noted "the fact remains that Americans have never tried to colonize American Samoa.

"We still own our lands," the Chief Executive continued. "We have our own constitution, elect our own public officials and are even represented in the United States Congress."

Stories from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to samoanews@samoatelco.com

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