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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (May 29, 2001 – Samoa News)---"The mischaracterization of American Samoa as a colony ha(s) been perceived as an insult and an outrage by the people of the territory," Congressman Faleomavaega Eni reportedly told the United Nations Committee on Decolonization, meeting in Havana, Cuba last week.

In a press statement released by the U.N. from Havana, it states that Faleomavaega acknowledged the U.N.’s efforts to eradicate colonialism throughout the world, but said he found it disturbing that the U.N. has assumed that American Samoa was a colony and questioned why the committee has singled out American Samoa for special consideration. (Besides American Samoa, the U.N. committee also singled out Pitcairn Island.)

Faleomavaega said the people of American Samoa had never had their rights suppressed by the U.S. He said the Special Decolonization Committee has too often been used as a platform to attack the United States, and he resented that American Samoa was being used as a pawn for that purpose.

He said if the committee is serious about eradication of colonialism, the U.N. should look at the situation of Western Papua Guinea, and he urged the Committee to put Western Papua Guinea on its agenda.

In closing, Faleomavaega reiterated that American Samoa is opposed to being called a colony and urged the committee to respect the wishes of American Samoa.

The representative of Indonesia, Dupito Simamora, objected to Faleomavaega comments on Western Papua Guinea, better known as Irian Jaya.

Simamora said the remarks were irrelevant to the work of the committee, noting that Irian Jaya’s case was settled in New York in 1962. He also reminded the committee that Irian Jaya is part of Indonesia, as it had been part of the Netherlands Indies before that. He said Indonesia was in the process of finalizing a new law, which would offer autonomy for Irian Jaya.

Samoa News has been unable to obtain a copy of Faleomavaega’s speech before the U.N. committee.

Governor Tauese Sunia also spoke before the Committee. Tauese’s speech may be found on the government’s website, www.asg-gov.com

Tauese was scheduled to return to the territory yesterday. Court-appointed receiver Jim Fones and various lawyers are involved in the case.

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

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