MARSHALL ISLANDS SENATOR HENCHI BALOS FROM BIKINI DIES AFTER CAR CRASH

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MARSHALL
ISLANDS SENATOR HENCHI BALOS FROM BIKINI DIES AFTER CAR CRASH

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (September 10, 2000)---

HON. BIKINIAN SENATOR HENCHI BALOS

7/15/1946 - 9/10/2000

Bikinian Senator Henchi Balos died at 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning (Majuro time), September 10, 2000, following an automobile accident that occurred the night before. He was 54 years old. He leaves behind a wife and many children and grand children.

[pictured at left at the United Nations, 1987]

Senator Balos was revered by the people of Bikini having logged many thousands of miles on their behalf over his many years of leadership.  He first worked for Amata Kabua, later President Kabua, when the Marshall Islands Political Status Commission was formed in 1976, and he appeared at the United Nations with Amata in July 1976, the 200th anniversary of America's independence, when the MIPCS pushed for political talks with the United States.  He was elected to the first Nitijela in 1979, when the constitutional government of the Marshall Islands was formed, and he served as the first - and only - Senator representing the Bikini people until his death.  At a meeting at the White House in 1981 with Vice President George Bush, he told the Vice President that the people of Bikini were not satisfied with the Section 177 Agreement.  This meeting was instrumental in leading to the re-opening of the talks and additional cleanup funding for Bikini Atoll.

During his 21 years as a member of the Nitijela, the governing body of the Marshall Islands, he served under late President Amata Kabua as Minister to the President, Minister of Health and Minister of Finance.  He was key to most of the Bikinian negotiations with the United States in Washington, D.C., and was welcomed by many U.S. Congressmen over the years to their offices.  In 1998 he was named by the Bikini Local Government Council as their Ambassador at Large.  He was a very soft spoken and eloquent speaker - in both in English and Marshallese - and will be remembered for his creative ideas and thoughts during meetings with U.S. government officials, Marshall Islands leaders and Bikinian elders.

 

 Senator Balos pictured with Mayor Tomaki Juda at the opening of Bikini Atoll's local government office building in January of 2000.

Senator Balos pictured [from R to L] with RMI President Kessai Note, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, and Mayor Tomaki Juda in February of 2000 in the U.S. Senate Chamber.

 

 

 Senator Balos pictured with the President of India, 1990.

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