Opinion

Wed
15
Feb

Former FSM President Concerned About Amending Constitution's Citizenship Clause

 

I write this Open Letter to you to share my deep concern about the proposed amendment to Section 3 of Article III of our national constitution. This current provision of our national constitution requires that an FSM citizen who is also a citizen of another country should “register his intent to remain a citizen” of our country, the Federated States of Micronesia, and “renounce his citizenship of another nation” within 3 years of his 18th birthday. In plain English, it means that a minor who holds a dual citizenship of Federated States of Micronesia and the United States, for example, because he or she was born in the United States to parents who are both FSM citizens or one was FSM citizen must register his or her intent to remain FSM citizen before he or she reaches 21 years old. If he or she fails to register as FSM citizen he or she will no longer be FSM citizen, but he or she will remain as a FSM national. 

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Wed
08
Feb

Who Said The Church And State Are Supposed To Be Separate?

 

The outpouring of support and admiration for the government’s push to amend the Constitution to declare Samoa officially as a Christian state has been overwhelming. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi is without a doubt the man of the moment. He is being hailed by church leaders in all corners of this country as savior of Samoa for initiating what they say is something that should have been done a long time ago.

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Thu
02
Feb

Fiji Media Cases Raise Questions About Prosecutorial Consistency

 

In 2016, two of Fiji’s main media organisations, the privately owned Fiji Times and state-owned Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, came to public attention, for the wrong reasons — laws regarding ethnic sensibilities in multiracial Fiji. The international community needs to note that taken together, they call into question the neutrality of Fiji’s prosecuting, regulating and defending institutions.

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Thu
26
Jan

An Independent Guam Would Survive; Be A Key U.S. Ally

 

In my own education on political status, this quote from the late Guam Sen. Frank Lujan in his article, “Sleeping Beauty: Times Passes By,” played a pivotal role in helping me see new and firmer truths, just beyond the colonial common sense: “Those who defend Guam's colonial status argue that economic independence for Guam is impractical. We happen to agree. Guam by herself can never be economically independent. But nor can our great mother country the United States. There no longer is any such animal as an independent nation in the world today. ... All nations in the latter part of the 20th century are economically interdependent.” There is so much to unpack in this simple quote, so much to discuss in terms of the way people misunderstand decolonization and independence.

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Thu
27
Oct

'Leadership Malaise' In CNMI Has Lead To Poverty

 

Apathy and lack of trust in government is widespread throughout the CNMI. This sentiment is as disturbing as it is troubling. It is easily seen among villagers who had to break out on their own to survive. It was forced abject poverty, full square! You suffer from it daily. Take a closer look at the cringing faces of villagers the next time you’re out and about. They’re reaching down into the depth of their soul struggling to understand deterioration of family life in these isles.

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Wed
05
Oct

Cook Islands Land Should Not Be A Commodity

 

Land has become quite the issue in this week’s discussions as has been the idea of Maori customary title. Words like ownership, recompense, leases and the idea that for some our fiscal return has not been what it should be and for others, will my family kick me off the land after 60 years. Talk of foreigners determining our rights, our view and our customary possession of land. One needs only read the land court publications, or talk to some about land issues to see how deep and far reaching this idea has become. Families, including my own, sadly can testify to the division and manamanata, that has been caused by land disputes. Brother against sister, mother against children, families against families.

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Wed
06
Jul

18 Years Since The Biak Massacre In West Papua; Suffering Still Ongoing

 

On the 2 July 1998, the West Papuan Morning Star flag was raised on top of a water tower near the harbour in Biak. Up to 75 people gathered beneath it singing songs and holding traditional dances. As the rally continued, many more people in the area joined in with numbers reaching up to 500 people. On the July 6 the Indonesian security forces attacked the demonstrators, massacring scores of people.

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Mon
27
Jun

No Excuse For Samoa Observer Suicide Story: Yet It’s Time To Forgive

 

Gatoa’itele Savea Sano Malifa, founder and editor-in-chief of the incredibly successful Samoa Observer, admitted it was a mistake for the Sunday Samoan edition of his newspaper to havereported on the suicide of a 20-year-old transgender woman, Jeanine Tuivaiki; and especially to publish a photo of the lifeless body of the deceased. I have known Savea for almost 30 years, and he is one of the most professional and enduring journalists in our region. He has also been very successful in building a news organisation, and a daily publication that has made all of us Pacific people proud.

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Thu
23
Jun

Samoa Fa’afafine Association To Samoa Observer; We Must Do Better

 

The article by the Sunday Samoan (published and owned by the Samoa Observer newspaper) of 19th June 2016 was in our view and indecent document and publication because it not only misgendered a member of the S.F.A, it went beyond the acceptable code of ethics in journalism and published an image of Ms. Tuivaiki in her final repose at death. In doing so, the Samoa Observer, a champion of freedom of the press in Samoa, violated and robbed what last dignity and humanity Ms. Tuivaiki had. 

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Tue
21
Jun

Editor Of Samoa Observer Apologizes For Suicide Photos, Article

 

Let me say this is not an easy letter for me to write. Still, I feel duty-bound to write these words, since it is our duty to tell the public we serve, the truth. The truth is that last week, we made a sad mistake when we published a story on the late Jeanine Tuivaiki, on the front page of the Sunday Samoan. We now accept that there has been an inexcusable lapse of judgment on our part, and for that we are sincerely regretful.

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