RMI Celebrates 33rd Constitution Day

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President calls on united effort to address challenges

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Yokwe, May 4, 2012) – This year’s Constitution day celebrations started off at with the traditional laying of the wreath ceremony held at the final resting place of RMI’s founding father, late President and Iroijlaplap Amata Kabua. In a moving tribute, President Christopher J. Loeak spoke on behalf of the Government, conveying deep respect and gratitude to late President followed by the laying of the wreath at gravesite by President Loeak, joined by First Lady Lieom Anono Loeak and the surviving spouse of late president, First Lady Lejla Emlain Kabua. Observing the traditional exercise were members of the Cabinet, other high ranking government officials, and close family members of the Amata Kabua family.

President Loeak and First Lady later joined in the opening celebration of the 33rd Constitution Day at the capital building. President Loeak was joined by his Cabinet members, other government officials, members of the diplomatic corp, and distinguished guests from the neighboring countries of the region and around the world- Speaker Kamuta Latasi of Tuvalu and Ambassador Omar Metwally and Mrs. Metwally from Egypt. Also, present were remaining members of the first Constitutional Convention (1979), which included, Senator Ruben Zackahras, Senator Litokwa Tomeing, and Senator Kessai H. Note.

In his Constitution Day address, President Loeak called for a united effort by the Marshallese people in addressing the many challenges and issues facing the nation. He stated, "What I said as I took office remains my and that of the Government to work together with traditional leaders, the private sector, local governments, the churches, non-governmental organizations, and the Marshallese people to ensure that the challenges and issues faced are addressed."

He went to further state, "Today, when I look back, I can say that, together, we have undoubtedly moved forward. We may have been slow in taking some steps; we may have wavered at times, and stumbled some times. We may have had success on some fronts, and setbacks on some others. But, there remains no doubt that we have steadfast in our resolve, firm in our convictions and resolute in our commitment to the welfare and well-being of our people. We must try, and try harder and try our best to ensure developments and progresses are made in education, health, wealth, and happiness."

Before closing his remarks, he said a few words on this year’s Constitution theme, "Tilmen Eowoj", which translates into English meaning, "someone who has the tools and resources to undertake a great endeavor." President Loeak went to further state, "Tilem Eowoj is fitting in terms of our nation building as well as our common aspirations to ensuring integrity of our statehood with solid institutional framework fully equipped to address the challenges now and in the future. To this end, we must work together to "tilmen eowoj" with our resources." For the full text of President Loeak’s Constitution Day Address: Marshallese version or English version.

In concluding the ceremony, Master of Ceremony Wallace Peter, read congratulatory messages from United States President Barack Obama and Republic of China (Taiwan) President Ma Ying-Jeou to President Loeak conveying best wishes to the people of the RMI on the auspicious occasion of the RMI’s 33rd Constitution Day and, also, reaffirming strong bilateral ties.

This year’s Constitution day was well organized by the Constitution Day Organizing Committee. Many individuals and groups from the public, private, and community levels participated in this year’s Constitution Day parade line-up, led by the local and national police, sea patrol officers, and the RMI boy scouts. Other activities took place at the old weather station, situated across the capital building. Later that evening, President Loeak hosted a dinner, celebrating this year’s Constitution Day, at the Marshall Islands Resort pool side. A fantastic show of fireworks by KOO’s Fishing Company concluded the special day.

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