Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands

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EDITORIAL

Saipan Tribune
Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
February 11, 2000

NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS MUST DEFEND ITS FREEDOM

At Issue: U.S. Senate Bill reneging on Covenant Agreement heads to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Our View: NMI must reserve funds to ward-off detractors from succeeding with their vicious agenda.

The U.S. House of Representatives is our last hope where we must work diligently to derail approval of the infamous Senate measure that proposes to inflict economic annihilation on the NMI's fragile economy.

How sad that the issue panders to generous labor unions' interest, which has the equivalence of trashing more than 16 years of hard work to strengthen the sturdiest though most maligned industry in this part of the world.

While detractors move to declare the basic tenets of self-government so inherent under the Covenant Agreement null and void, it grants approval to the Caribbean Basin Initiative, which includes, among others, apparel manufacturing. They seem incapable of discerning the inequities of a policy against its own citizens in this remote Pacific Islands that they have recently granted to non-citizens in the Caribbean.

The net effect of such a measure isn't only economic meltdown of our fragile island economic foundation, but a measure that will burden U.S. mainland taxpayers into paying for their politicians' excesses whose political careers have been bankrolled by labor unions. It's the usual refrain whenever the national election swings around the corner and each of our detractors must do the rain dance so commanded by labor unions' bosses.

The issue is one of economic survival from a political stampede the genesis of which came from those who preach human rights as to forget that the very basis of their agenda is the deprivation of the economic freedom of U.S. Citizens in the islands. Whatever happened to President Clinton's homily on wealth and jobs creation when he visited various states whose ghetto communities needed economic face-lift? It's shocking that the very issues that he's pushed for ALL Americans sharing in the economic good times would effectively be denied U.S. Citizens in the Northern Marianas.

Despair not and let us approve forthwith funds to derail our detractors' measure in the U.S. House of Representatives. This is the time to articulate the fact that the issue is one of economic survival now and in the future and that despite differing viewpoints of what is right for these isles that national policy-makers must learn to listen to the often inaudible tiny voices of the smallest group of U.S. Citizens (governance). We too wish to be given the benefit of the vast accomplishments of our country and be allowed the chance that opportunities present in the new millennium. We have not given up hope despite all the injustices that have blatantly been leveled against us. We ask friends in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressmen Tom DeLay and Don Young, to protect our economic freedom given all American communities and against the tyranny of the abuse of political power against helpless U.S. Citizens in this tiny American Archipelago.

"Let freedom ring from sea to shining sea."

We are Americans too! Si Yuus Maase`!

For additional reports from The Saipan Tribune, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Saipan Tribune.

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