FAICHUK LOOKS TO BREAK WITH CHUUK, FSM

CHUUK, FSM (Radio Australia, Feb. 6) – People of Faichuk, in the state of Chuuk, are again pushing to break away from the Federated States of Micronesia.

They say Faichuk, which includes eight Islands in Chuuk Lagoon, has been underdeveloped for more than forty years, and something must be done to solve the problem.

Faichuk Senator Setiro Paul says a separation from Chuuk and the FSM under a republican government in free association with the United States would solve their dire situation.

"We have been neglected for so many years since the transfer territory time, our island groups, we have not been given attention. So in terms of economic and social development, none exists, barely exists," said Paul.

"Our migration, large numbers of our population have migrated to Guam, U.S. mainland, Hawaii, Saipan and all areas seeking jobs, education and health assistance. There is none barely existing in our island."

"And the leadership and the people feel that we have been mistreated and the only way of limiting this problem is to go out on our own. We are hopeful that in doing so there will be some life there to help us getting all this major development in our islands."

According to Paul, the people of Faichuk understand that a move to disconnect from FSM would bring financial problems but they are prepared to take the consequences.

"We are trying our very best to work with the United States government as well. That what's happened to the Palau and Marshalls during that time. They feel that they will be getting an adequate share of whatever, funding assistance for developments," said Paul.

"So they chose to break off their Micronesian Islands at that time and look at what happened now? They are economically and socially developed to this point. So we kind of look at that vision and hope and pray that our almighty might give us the green light and the life that we can help our people develop our infrastructure."

February 6, 2003

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia 

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