MG 1053By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

July 25, 2018

Palikir, Pohnpei—US, FSM, and Pohnpei officials gathered together this afternoon on the grounds of the College of Micronesia FSM to break ground for a long planned water project.

Five years ago the water pipe extension from Sekere to Palikir was completed and bid proposals were solicited for another phase of a water project to extend the line from Palikir, Sokehs to Nanpei Memorial High School in Kitti. A contractor questioned the bidding process and filed a civil suit. The civil suit was recently dismissed. That process, along with legal access to some crucial pieces of land for the project, caused the roughly five year delay.

The nearly $6.4 million project is set to begin as soon as mobilization of equipment and supplies is accomplished.

The terms of the contract have established a completion date of two years from start of project until completion.

Lyon Associates, Inc. long ago designed the project. ABCOR Engineering and Construction, Inc. will be doing the construction.

The project is funded by a US Compact Infrastructure Grant and has recently been coordinated by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the fairly new Pohnpei Project Management Office.

 MG 1350By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

July 30, 2018

Pohnpei—The first “graduation” ceremony for the Pohnpei Department of Public Safety’s Underage Drinking Project was held on the afternoon of July 30 on the man-made beach of Nett Point.

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Under the theme, “It’s time to stop accepting and start discouraging underage drinking”, DPS has been conducting training and activities to discourage underage drinking. A DPS official said that the activities were conducted in communities that DPS records showed had already demonstrated a problem with underage drinkers in Nett and in U. The activities took place in June and July of this year.

The task force for the project included Project Manager, Detective Lieutenant Eltes Pelep; Project Coordinator, Chief of Police Hermis Edmund, and members Captain Ricky P. Rodriguez, and Lt. William Ioanis. It was funded by an allocation sponsored by Senator Dion Neth, FSM Congress representative from District #2

CaptureThe National Supreme Court of FSM and the Pacific Judicial Strengthening Initiative hosted the Activity Preparation and Refresher Training-of-Trainers Workshop from 23-17 July, 2018, at the Central Facility in Palikir, Pohnpei.

The workshop was attended by 18 court staff from Pohnpei, Yap, Chuuk and Kosrae. The faculty included trainers from FSM and Australia.

Participants of the workshop received training to develop their confidence in leading, designing, delivering, monitoring and evaluating ongoing judicial and court development activities. The practical and interactive workshop also focused on developing adult learning skills to help the Supreme Court with implementing its newly developed Access to Justice Plan and associated training in each State.

Mr. Harry Naruuhn, State Justice Ombudsman from Chuuk, noted that: “I strongly believe that the workshop is very helpful and has expanded my comfort zone and understanding of Access to Justice. Previously I thought that only lawyers were concerned with Access to Justice, but I now know that everyone has a responsibility to ensure Access to Justice.”

The workshop is one of the many workshops held by the Pacific Judicial Strengthening Initiative within the Pacific. The Initiative is funded by New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade which has supported promoting the rule of law across the Pacific over recent years. Ms. Shrue Lonno, Chief Clerk of Courts from Kosrae expressed her: “Thanks to PJSI for making it possible to participate!”

The Pohnpei Public Library celebrated the end of this year’s annual Summer Reading Program (SRP) on July 13, 2018. Head Librarian Mr. Lester Ezekias welcomed all in attendance at the closing celebration and thanked participants, volunteers and parents for their contributions and assistance during the four-week program. In line with the theme for this year’s SRP “Libraries Rock,” three health-related children’s songs were performed by the SRP participants. Group 1 which was comprised of K5-2nd graders sang a song entitled “Wash Your Hands”; Group 2 comprised of 3rd-5th graders sang “Suke Laud Kahrehda Ngih Rongala” (too much sugar causes tooth decay); and Group 3 consisted of 6th-8th graders who sang a song entitled “Pohnpei Lingan”. All the songs were taught by Mr. Alanso Jimina, retired Music Specialist for the Pohnpei Department of Education.

Several participants noted that their favorite part of the SRP this year was the activities, which were designed by the Collaborative Summer Library Program out of Iowa, USA and organized during the SRPby volunteers and PPL staff. The kids learned songs, made crafts and enjoyed other fun and educational activities. The Program this year was funded by the FSM National Archives, Cultural and Historic Preservation Office (FSM NACH) through a grant from the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS). The continued success of the Summer Reading Program would not be possible without the involvement and contributions of volunteers, parents, participants and generous donors.

The Friends of the Pohnpei Public Library would like to thank the IMLS, FSM NACH, Australian Embassy-Pohnpei, Kaselehlie Press, V6AH Radio and the Pohnpei Fishing Club for all their generous support. Special appreciation goes out to the following individuals for their involvement during the four-week program: Alanso Jimina, LJ Gamow and Telyla Liwy.

All the participants received certificates and prizes presented by the staff and volunteers. Head Librarian Mr. Ezekias also handed out certificates to the contributors and volunteers for this year on behalf of the Friends of the Pohnpei Public Library.


Closing ceremonies for the coconut workshopA Coconut Cultivation and Pest Control Technology Workshop Sponsored by the Chinese government was held in the four states of Micronesia, starting with Yap in June, followed by Chuuk and Kosrae, and ending in Pohnpei in July.

The workshop, conducted by the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Science (CATAS), was well facilitated by the Chinese Embassy and the FSM Federal Department of Resources and Development. More than 90 courses in the four states, covering the aspects of varieties of coconut, coconut processing, coconut pest control and so on, were given by professors from the academy. More than 100 trainees attended the courses.

Coconut is called “the Tree of Life” in the FSM. “FSM is very rich in coconut and other tropical plants, but in FSM, we only have coconut forest but no coconut plantation,” said Liu Guodao, the vice president of the CATAS and the team leader. Most of the trainees, after this workshop, said they had mastered some basic and useful knowledge to improve the coconut production.on site teaching

Chinese Ambassador Huang Zheng, the Acting Secretary of Federal R&D Hubert Yamada, the Assistant Secretary of Federal R&D Marlyter P. Silbanuz and the Assistant Secretary of Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Brendy Carl attended the closing ceremony in Pohnpei and handed the certificates to the trainees. The Deputy Chief of Mission of Chinese Embassy Li Cuiying attended the opening ceremony of the workshop in Yap and introduced the agricultural cooperation between China and the FSM.

Ambassador Huang Zheng pointed out in his speech, “Mutual respect, equal treatment and common development are the essential characteristics of China-FSM strategic partnership. The success of this training course once again proves that China is sincere and selfless to help our friends. China aid is to meet the most urgent and realistic needs of the local people. Our training program has made an important contribution to settle the survival problems of thousands of families in the region. We sincerely hope that our friends in the FSM can 

develop better and better and develop together with China. Next year is the 30th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the FSM. I believe that there will be more and more similar exchanges between China and the FSM, which will continue to benefit the two peoples and consolidate the friendship between the two countries and build our promising future together.

Pests of Coconut trees in FSM

By The White House

United States Government

July 20, 2018

Washington D.C.-- Yesterday, President Donald J. Trump declared a disaster under the Compact of Free Association between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia, as amended, due to severe storms, flooding, and landslides during the period of March 16 to March 17, 2018.

The President’s action makes Federal funding available for U.S. Government emergency relief and reconstruction assistance to the Federated States of Micronesia in accordance with Public Law 108-188, as amended, including Article X of the Federal Programs and Services Agreement to the Compact of Free Association. President Peter M. Christian of the Federated States of Micronesia requested a disaster declaration on June 13, 2018.

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance will coordinate U.S. Government disaster assistance efforts in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia.

By Senator Aurelio Joab

July 22, 2018

Yap—The Micronesian Games Council (MGC) held its regular meeting at noon today. Among the many items and issues discussed during the meeting, two important matters were resolved by the Council including the review and approval of the bids submitted by island states/nations who are willing to host the 10th Micronesian Games in 2022.

Mr. Terry Slasher, Secretary General of the Marshall Islands National Olympic Committee, submitted a bid on behalf of RMI to host the next Micro Games in Majuro in 2022. Mr. Sasher gave a comprehensive presentation on how the RMI has been preparing to host the Games. They plan to construct a competition venue for athletics (track and field) on a manmade landfill within the Majuro Lagoon that will include parking spaces, concession areas, grandstand and other required sporting facilities. It is expected that this major infrastructure will cost around $7.5 million. Other competition venues will include basketball gymnasium, beach volleyball, fast-pitch softball fields for both men and women, lawn tennis courts, Micronesian All Around, spear fishing, swimming pool, table tennis, canoe racing, indoor volleyball gym, weightlifting, and wrestling facilities. Altogether, the RMI is expecting to spend $12 million for all of the facilities.

The second and final agenda item discussed was the reorganization of the Micronesian Games Council. Terry Sasher of RMI was elected Treasurer, Joey Miranda II of Guam was elected Secretary General, and Aurelio P. Joab of Pohnpei was elected President, replacing Bill Keldermans, a US national who has been living in Palau for the past 50 years. Keldermans served as President of the Council for the past three Micro Games. The first President, Bill Sakovich is also an American who earlier resided in Saipan and now lives in Hawaii. Sakovich served as President from 1990 until Keldermans took over in 2006. Joab is the third President and the first Micronesian ever elected to the post of the Presidency of the Micronesian Games Council.

Aurelio has previously served as President of the Pohnpei Basketball Association and President of the FSM Basketball Federation. He is currently President of the

Zag Puas (PhD) Chuuk Unity Group

In 2014 the Chuuk State Legislature enacted a law which created the Chuuk Future Status Commission the purpose of which is “to review and recommend possible political status suitable for long term financial survival of Chuuk State after the economic assistance provided under the amended compact between the FSM and US expires in 2023, and for other purposes.” To fulfil this long-term financial survival, the Commission imported economic and legal theorists to undertake a study for the purpose of recommending a pathway to ‘solve’ Chuuk’s financial shortfalls post 2023. However, they argued that in order to do so Chuuk must disengage itself from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).

Consequently, a Report was produced by the Consultants hired by the Commission, however the whole Report has not been released to the public. The reasons for that is unknown.

The Commission is taking a strong pro secessionist movement by littering the political landscape with distorted language that is driving a system of self-perpetuating disinformation. Its objective is to convince the people of Chuuk to march falsely towards a brave new world just looming over the horizon. In the Commission’s mind the Chuukese people have been economically oppressed by the wrath of FSM’s own internal colonialism, and thereby seeks to progress secession, which they assert should emancipate the people from this notional oppression.

 MG 1105By Bill Jaynes

July 28, 2018The Kaselehlie Press

Pohnpei—Ace Hardware sponsored its 4th Annual Ace Hardware Kids’ Fishing Tournament today. Several children participated in a half day of fishing inside Pohnpei’s lagoon both for fun and for possible prizes.

The weigh in was held at noon at the Mangrove Bay Bar and Grill. It’s always a fun event to photograph, and the children have a great time.

Ace Hardware sponsored prizes including Ace gift certificates and two new bicycles for big fish, pretty fish, and ugly fish. They also provided free hot dogs for all and gift bags for every child who participated.

Winners for the competition for ugliest and prettiest fish were decided by angler response as each fish was held up. Ethan Mamangon won the prize for prettiest fish and Ian Boylan won the prize for ugliest fish.

 MG 1144


The Pohnpei Fishing Club did not provide the species of fish caught nor the prizes won in the information they gave to The Kaselehlie Press.

In the Big Fish category, Melisha Isaac came in fifth place with a 1.9 pound fish. Kristen Henry caught a 2.8 pound fish. Rylan Yinug’s fish was 5.7 pounds. The top two prize winners were Noah Adams with a fish of 7.7 pounds and Connor Boylan whose fish was 8.3 pounds.

As close relatives of the sponsors, Boylan and Adams agreed to give up the bicycles their catches had earned them. They conducted a hastily arranged lottery for each of the bicycles, one for a boy and one for a girl.


 MG 1074 MG 1205



July 31, 2018

PALIKIR, POHNPEI – The Fifth Special Session of the 20th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia is scheduled to convene on August 2-7 as called by President Peter M. Christian.

In his letter to Speaker Wesley W. Simina, the President requested the Congress to consider “urgent matters that remain pending with Congress” from the Executive Branch which included:

  1. 1. Appropriations for the startup costs of PATS;
  2. 2. Appropriations for the fiber optic project Cable Landing Station in Chuuk State;
  3. 3. Appropriations for the PII Litigation;
  4. 4. Pending Nominations for important advice and consent position of the National Government; and
  5. 5. Other equally urgent matters that Congress deems necessary for their consideration and action.

The 5th Special Session was originally planned for July 30, 2018, but due to conflicting flight schedules it has been postponed until August 2, this Thursday.

Sessions of the Congress are open to all interested members of the general public.

dan teachingBy Denise Oen and Delihna Ehmes

The College of Micronesia is taking innovative measures to ensure student success. This summer, we combined an English course (ESL 089) with the History of Micronesia (SS 150). The cross disciplinary course was known as Filming Our Journeys: Connecting Micronesian History to Contemporary Islander Life. Seventeen incoming freshmen enrolled and were taught by the team of Delihna Ehmes and Denise Oen.

The first two weeks of the class had a storytelling (via film) for social justice focus. Dan Lin (a well-known photographer and filmmaker) and Canita Rilomento (an experienced community educator) both of the Pacific Resources for Education and Learning organization, designed and implemented this workshop with the assistance of Ehmes and Oen. During these two weeks, the students learned all aspects of filmmaking from: the coming up with the original concept, to script writing, to storyboarding, to direction and filming, and then on to the final editing and eventual screening. Students were very proud of their films and shared their work with their family and friends via social media. They also held a screening for several college administrators: Maria Dison, Karen Simion, and Joseph Felix, Jr. They were so impressed with the students’ work that they requested the films be part of the orientation for new students this fall.filming at the German cementary

A key aspect of the filmmaking workshop was interviewing community leaders for their insights and guidance on continuing to improve communities in the Federated States of Micronesia. They interviewed: Bethwell Henry, Rufino Mauricio, Jennifer Helieisar, John Haglelgam, Marstella Jack, Bruce Robert, and Delihna Ehmes. The gift of hearing from these leaders was very illuminating across many issues. These interviews were then edited together to make short films. These films will be shared with the larger education community across Pohnpei.

After the workshop, the class continued with the cohort configuration of the same students in both classes with two professors. Denise taught ESL 089 and Delihna taught SS 150. They connected their course content through shared class experiences including readings, films, field trips, small group presentations, and discussions. The ESL 089 course content included contemporary islander topics which connected with the content of the History of Micronesia: Cultural Representations of Pacific Islanders. Islander Migration and Immigration, Micronesians in the Military, and Island Economics.

We read books about the History of Micronesia, explored articles regarding contemporary island issues, watched films (Island Soldier, Whale Rider, Cannibal Tours, etc.), participated in role plays about colonialism, went on field trips (Nan Mandal, Sokehs Ridge, making friends with the cameraSokehs Island, PMK fish market, and the Bank of the FSM.) We had many class discussions and the students learned that you need to know “why” you think the way you do because Delihna and Denise are going to ask!

Students achieved the learning outcomes in both courses and are now adept at strategies and techniques needed for college: analysis and synthesis of information, reading for information strategies, writing thoughtful and reflective essays, and creating presentations for their classmates. Their knowledge of the History of Micronesia is now substantial and the conversations throughout the summer demonstrated a critical awareness of the complexity of the multiple narratives of what has happened on the islands that they love.

Students also figured out how to be a “college student.” They learned how to be responsible for attendance and timeliness, how to work with others, how to speak publicly, and how to navigate the college system as a whole.german cemetary

Another important part of the class was the creation of a “family of learners.” Using the research on Culturally Relevant and Sustaining Pedagogy, we used a “family” approach. We held class in a room which permitted classroom discussions in the round, lots of room for meeting in small groups, and even room to stretch out on the floor to work in close proximity to others. We shared our lunches, fell asleep together on the van on the way back from long field trips, and celebrated birthdays and goodbyes. We laughed and cried together during movies, “argued” during role plays, and cheered our learners on as they continued to accept every challenge we offered them.

Success can be measured in a plethora of ways. The course had a 94% completion rate and a 100% passing rate. Clearly this points to an innovation worth continuing. We also asked for student feedback and their thoughts were equally evident that this course is a move in the right direction.marstella

  • I believe this class has connected in the way Micronesians live. …We got used to each other, we grew as one even with our strong diversity. We've come to love in harmony, we're undivided, we're one family, and we’re brothers and sisters. When went on trips, we shared snacks, and we waited for others to catch up on our walk up to Sokhes Ridge. We grew as one and helped one another like a family .
  • I experienced many things in this class and the best is that I got to learn more about Pohnpei’s history. I watched a lot of emotional movies, I got to know many friends in our small group work. I’m was so excited about our trips together and thankful to those guest speakers who put in their time for us. I’m so proud of myself that I can film my own movie or film it with my classmates.
  • Now I have learned how to be a filmmaker, a writer, and an explorer. I’m sure I’m ready to put on my shades and face the fall semester.

We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to teach and learn with these young adults this summer and can’t wait to work with them again soon.

Student films can be viewed at the Pacific Storytellers Cooperative’s YouTube Channel X1qYcPkaJSUzlFu3M0Dw/videos

 MG 1276By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

August 3, 2018

Pohnpei—Pohnpei’s athletes who participated in the Micronesian Games in Yap received heroes’ welcomes as they returned.  Hundreds of people carrying banners and cheering wildly welcomed the athletes as they arrived at the airport, and then followed them through town in happy cheering motorcades.

After the last of the athletes arrived today, all of the athletes paraded through town to the government complex where the State sponsored a huge party for them.

The Pohnpei athletes performed very well at the games.  Though in terms of gold medals they came in fourth place with a total of 18, they tied with Palau for first place in terms of total medals earned with 70.  33 of those medals were silver medals and 19 were bronze. MG 1317

Palau won the games with a total of 32 gold medals.  The Republic of Marshall Islands was tied with Guam with 29 gold medals each but RMI had 17 silver medals while Guam had 12, putting RMI in second place.

CNMI was in fifth place with nine gold medals, followed by Yap with five.  Chuuk also earned five gold medals.  Kirabati and Nauru each had two gold medals.  While Kosrae did not earn any gold medals they did earn a total of 14 medals, four of which were silver.

In athletics competitions, Pohnpei’s athletes brought home three gold medals, eight silver medals and seven bronze medals. 

Pohnpei’s baseballers brought home gold, the first time for a Pohnpei team to medal in a very long time. 

Pohnpei’s basketball team came home with bronze medals. 

 MG 1297Pohnpei men brought home gold and bronze medals for Micronesian All Around.  Pohnpei women brought home gold and silver in the event.

Kestra Aileen Kihleng brought home a very respectable bronze medal for the 2.5 km open water swimming event.  It was not only Kihleng’s second ever open water swimming event but also only her second long distance swim competition of any kind.  She also came in at a respectable fourth place in the 5K open water swim.

Defending soccer champions, Pohnpei again brought home the gold.

Taylor Paul won a bronze medal for individual spear fishing and Pohnpei’s spearfishing team brought home silver.

 In table tennis the men’s team brought silver. Men’s doubles also earned silver, and John Thomsin brought bronze in singles.

Pohnpei women brought silver in Va’a while the men brought bronze.

Pohnpei’s weightlifters and wrestlers brought home an impressive number of medals in a variety of event.  Weightlifters brought home four gold medals, 10 silver medals, and two bronze.  Wrestlers brought home seven gold medals, 11 silver medals, and three bronze.

Complete results for the Micro Games can be found at .

The next Micro Games will be in RMI in 2022.

By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

August 2, 2018

Fahrenheit Tugboat Joyce Mclure photo creditYap, FSM—The FSM National Government has arrested 16 Philippine nationals in Colonia, Yap who arrived at that port aboard a tugboat allegedly operated by Fahrenheit Co., Ltd.  They have also seized the tugboat and two cargo containers that were aboard the vessels.

They are being charged with violations of FSM’s Title 18 for entering the FSM’s EEZ without a permit or clearances and also for immigration violations.

A news story by Pacific Island Times says that the tugboat arrived at Yap’s Port of Entry at 11:30 AM on July 30, 2018, without legal documents including Port Clearance, Maritime Declarations of Health, Deratting Certificates or Customs Clearance.  That article says that an Environmental Health Services Health Quarantine officer attempted to deny the tugboat “Ocean Support” entry to the port by diverting it to the quarantine buoy near Nungoch Island.  But a port agent told EHS that officials from Yap State Department of Resource and Development did not want the tugboat to be moved away from the dock.

Another vessel, the “Forever Lucky” owned by Fahrenheit Co., Ltd had been scheduled to arrive in Yap prior to the recently concluded Micronesian Games, but Philippines authorities detained the vessel and arrested its crew for a variety of violations involving documentation.  The Yap government had signed an MOU with Fahrenheit to provide lodging aboard the “Forever Lucky” and to provide catering services for the games but due to the arrest in the Philippines, it never arrived.

It is unclear what the purpose of the trip to Yap by the Fahrenheit tugboat is since the games are now over.  FSM law enforcement officials will be looking into that question as well.

The initial hearing date is set for August 14 at the FSM Supreme Court in Yap.

Photo by Joyce McClure

Editor's note: Due to a mechanical failure on a United Airlines flight to Guam, the Supreme Court Justice could not arrive in time for the scheduled preliminary hearing.  It has been delayed until August 16.

By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

August 1, 2018

Palikir, Pohnpei—Senator Victor Gouland, Chair of the FSM Congress Standing Committee on Transportation and Communications called an oversite hearing that was held today on the matter of the implementation of the Chuuk fiber optic cable.

President Christian has sent appropriations bills with changing amounts to facilitate the final installation of the fiber optic cable that was landed in Chuuk several months ago.  It is an issue that has become politically charged as stakeholders try to implement fiber optic service as quickly as possible, so much so in fact that the highly paid CEO of FSM’s Open Access Entity (OAE), Adolfo Montenegro resigned last week from the FSM Telecommunications Cable Corporation (FSMTCC, not to be confused with FSMTC).  Even during the committee hearing, it was difficult to know which, if any of the stories that witnesses gave completely represented the story which is still being sorted out.

As best we understand it from the committee hearing, several months ago FSMTCC (OAE) put out a request for bids to handle all aspects of the operationalization of the fiber optic cable in Weno.  That project would have been paid for by a grant from the World Bank.  FSMTC (FSM Telecommunications Corporation) did not bid on that project.  FSMTCC (OAE) proceeded to negotiate with a landholder for the construction of a small building on the grounds of the L5 Hotel to house the equipment for the cable.  The cable would then run from that small building to FSMTC.

Apparently, though the negotiated lease was for a period of time that coincided with the expected life of the cable, concerns arose that the building was to be built on non-government land.

FSMTCC (OAE) says that it would take about a year to implement the plan as they had organized it and agrees that if it didn’t have to build a new facility it would be much quicker.

Secessionists say that the message is US intervention in sovereign affairs

By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

July 19, 2018

FSM—Last week United States Ambassador Robert Riley to the FSM began a media campaign to inform Chuukese citizens about the facts regarding the possibility of a Compact of Free Association with a nation of Chuuk, should the voters decide to secede in their election eight months from now.  As United States Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Ambassador Riley’s words are fully representative of the government of the United States.

In his interview with The Kaselehlie Press, his video message released on YouTube, his radio recordings, and in public forums, the Ambassador gave the very clear message that there have only ever been three Compacts of Free Association with the United States in the world in all of history.  There will never be another, even for a new country of Chuuk if that comes to exist.

He made it clear that the United States government would never interfere with the right of self-determination for the people of Chuuk.  The people of Chuuk have a right to decide.  They also have a right to be fully informed before they make their decision at the polls in March 2019.

Of course, the relationship with the United States with a potential new nation of Chuuk is only one part of the information that voters need to know about as they consider secession but that is the only part that Ambassador Riley could authoritatively address.

Upon release of the Ambassador’s YouTube video, proponents for Chuuk’s secession from the Federated States of Micronesia quickly made it clear that they considered the message to be US interference in sovereign affairs. (see Op Ed by Chuuk Attorney General in this issue.)

As US Ambassador to the FSM, it is his job to share information on US policies with the FSM.

“I am not here to tell them how to vote, only to give them the facts so that they can accurately weigh the pros and cons,” Riley wrote after his two public forum meetings in Weno, Chuuk. 

OnlineBy Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

July 20, 2018

FSM—At near the halfway point of the 2018 Micro Games in Yap, Guam is the gold medal leader with 26 medals, followed by Palau with 21, Pohnpei with nine, and Yap with 5.  Guam athletes have been awarded a total of 50 medals, followed by Pohnpei with 40.  Pohnpei has 20 silver medals and 11 bronze.  Palau has the third highest number of medals with 36, seven of which are silver and 8 bronze.  Home team Yap has won the fourth largest number of medals with 26, 8 of which are silver and 13 bronze.

Though the discovery of a highly contagious and debilitating rotavirus was made just before the games began, and logistical problems due to the arrest of the “Forever Lucky” threatened to derail the games, they seem to be running reasonably smoothly.  The typically friendly residents of Yap have been reminded to “WAVE”, meaning to “Welcome All Visitors Enthusiastically”.  People in Yap don’t really need that kind of reminder but they have shown their hospitality and friendliness by opening their homes to visitors who had no place to go when the “Forever Lucky” failed to arrive as planned.

37279891 10155335566836780 7092483996457631744 oThe games began with a spectacular opening ceremony with the entrance of the athletes and speeches followed by a truly stunning fireworks display, the first that many people at the games had ever seen and certainly the first in Yap.

Perhaps the darling of the games is Jonah Harris of Nauru.  His is truly a Cinderella story.  Before the games began Nauru announced that it was pulling out of the games because it couldn’t afford to travel.  But it didn’t stop one of their athletes, Jonah Harris from finding his own way to Yap and dominating in every Athletics meet he participated in.  By himself, Harris won two gold medals, two silver and one bronze medal.

In the Men’s 100 meter race Harris won a gold medal with a time of 11.07 seconds.  He jumped 6.33 meters for a gold medal in the long jump.  His time of 22.22 seconds in the 200 meter race earned him a silver medal.  His high jump of 1.85 meters earned him another silver medal.  His only bronze was in the triple jump with a distance of 12.09 meters.

The Micro Games was supposed to have been live streamed on the Micro Games official webpage but they were never able to get that service up and running.

17 boats participate in LP Gas and 7 Stars fishing tournament

Pohnpei Fishing Club

 MG 0986Pohnpei—17 boats registered and participated in the LP Gas – 7 Stars fishing tournament on Saturday, September 7, 2018. The fishing conditions were difficult on the day of the tournament but several anglers still managed to coax some fish out of hiding.

We want to thank the sponsors: LP Gas/7 Stars and their related businesses, Lefty’s, 7 Stars Inn and Restaurant, Hot Plate and 7 Stars Store.

The format of the tournament was big fish. There were lots of prizes including a $1,000.00 grand prize. All prizes were in cash.

Congratulations to the winners below:

Biggest Fish

  1. 1. $ 1,000 - 29lb Mahi Mahi - Steincia Hawley MG 0917
  2. 2. $ 700 - 23lb Yellowfin - Stephanie Spencer
  3. 3. $ 500 - 21lb Yellowfin - Welber David
  4. 4. $ 400 - 20.5lb Yellowfin - Ivan Hedson
  5. 5. $ 300 - 19.5lb Wahoo - Walden Weilbacher
  6. 6. $ 200 - 16.5lb Barracuda - Mary Tretnoff

Lady Angler

  1. 1. $200 - 10lb Wahoo - Marcella Hawley

Junior Angler

  1. 1. $ 100 - 11lb Wahoo - Daunte Peterson
  2. 2. $ 75 - 5.5lb Barracuda - Stephanie Spencer

 MG 0934Largest of Species - $175 each

Yellowfin - 15.5lb Emerald Eperiam

Skipjack - 14.5lb Marlino Mihkel

Wahoo - 16.5lb Damian Saick

Barracuda - 12.5lb Patterson Lawrence

No one won the marlin jackpot. It is now $4,300.00 for a marlin over 450 pounds.

There was a wide distribution of prizes among the boats. Congratulations to Steincia Hawley for landing the biggest fish of the day and winning the $1,000.00 grand prize. The prizes were distributed in the way they were because each fish could only receive one prize.

We also want to thank all the people who helped out: Bill Pendergraft, Tina Albert, Kumer Panuelo’s guys, and everyone on the dock.

 MG 0939Elementary school aged girls Jasmine and Lia Daunakamakama, and Beulah Tamani sang to their own ukulele and guitar accompaniment with voices well beyond their years and a repertoire to match, stunning all who heard them at the weigh in for the tournament. During breaks, Chris Johnson also spun some great recorded music.

We also had a barbecue to support the Pohnpei Public Library.

Once again thanks to our sponsors, LP Gas and 7 Stars.

Our next tourney is the annual kid’s tourney, set for July 28 and sponsored by Ace Hardware. Get your kids ready for some fishing action.

Raise Your Text LogoJuly 13, 2018

Pohnpei, FSM - According to Pohnpei Government reports, between 5 - 7% of Pohnpeian public school teachers don’t show up to work on any given school day--but if you’re a Pohnpeian student who has had to frequently wait hours for a teacher who will never come, this percentage probably seems a bit low. In Pohnpei, it is not uncommon for one absent teacher’s students to be crammed into another classroom, creating havoc and an unmanageable classroom with 60+ students for the teacher who is at work. It is a no-brainer; no teacher means no teaching, and no teaching means worse educational opportunities and an environment where student success isn’t prioritized. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, one company coming to Pohnpei, in partnership with Pohnpei DOE, plans to completely change this problem with text messages.

Raise Your Text (RYT) is a newly founded company, funded by the D-Prize organization that believes one text can get students better access to education. The company aims to get Pohnpeian students better access to education by incentivizing teachers to show up to work more through their service. From this July to November, RYT will be working jointly with the Pohnpei Department of Education (PDOE) to pilot test a public accountability model where students, parents, teachers, and community members can send text messages to: 1) report when teachers do not show up to work and: 2) communicate classroom information like upcoming school events and homework help. For students and parents, this means increased educational access through present teachers. For the PDOE, it means better data to incentivize teachers, enforce the terms of the teachers’ contracts, and create a more effective workforce. For teachers, it provides a way to connect more directly with students’ parents and hold their fellow school teachers accountable to show up to work.

“We don’t want to hurt teachers,” said Nick Canfield, Co-founder and Team Lead of RYT. “We want to create an environment where everyone is accountable for only one thing: the educational success of all Pohnpeian students.”

The team at RYT understands this problem well and is passionate about student success around the world. Along with Nick Canfield, the team is comprised of co-founders Richard Clark, Joyceleen Panuel, and Prathima Appaji.

"We all know attendance is a major issue, and we've been trying to improve on attendance," said Director of Education Churchill Edward. "So anything that will help us have a better handle on attendance, especially improvement of attendance with our students and teachers is a must--we must do it."

Only a sampling of public elementary and secondary schools and classrooms will be chosen to participate in the pilot test. Students, parents, teachers, and community members associated with these classrooms will be able to sign-up with the service with their cell phones in early August. For more information on RYT and how to sign-up, please send an email to info@raiseyourtext. com or visit


July 23, 2018

The National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA) has been monitoring a steady increase of transshipment and unloading activities in Pohnpei Port for the past 3 months from April-June, 2018. A total volume of 115,093 metric tons of tuna was transshipped for the month of April (26 vessels) May (53 vessels) and June (74 vessels).  Pohnpei Port has been the main port of transshipment operations for all the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) with some unloading activities in Kosrae and Yap.

The increased numbers of transshipments are in line with the prevailing ENSO conditions (La Nina-type conditions) in which fishing activities are more concentrated in the western tropical areas.  Thus, fishing activities increased in the FSM for the past 3 months. 

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Kolonia Town receives donated emergency vehicles.Kolonia Town receives donated emergency vehicles.

Next week, more trainers are coming to Pohnpei to train Kolonia’s fire fighters

20180626 192140By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

July 20, 2018

Pohnpei—As of today, 19 Pohnpei fire fighters have qualified as Emergency Medical Responders (EMR) after a one month intensive training in Pohnpei.

The training, which was paid for with Compact Capacity Building funds was conducted by Daren D. Burrier, Guam Assistant Fire Chief. Burrier has a long history as a fire fighter and emergency medical trainer.

Most of the graduates had been through other emergency medical trainings before and the current training has built on their previous skills. Next week they will begin a separate firefighting training.

Chief Patrick Carl said that the Department of Public Safety has been working to establish a 911 emergency system and hopes to have that system up and running by October. The system would work like most 911 systems and now will be able to dispatch trained Emergency Medical Responders. Until that system is up and running, the fire department and its Emergency Medical Responders can still be reached at 320-2223.

“This level of training is fantastic for Pohnpei’s demographic,” Burrier said. “They’ll be able to run with two people on the ambulance and be able to assist and treat people with illnesses and injuries prior to arrival at the hospital.”20180713 152455

Effectively, the Emergency Medical Responders make proper patient assessments, get the medical history of the patient, and give effective treatment for the patient to help stabilize them while en route to the hospital. They will be able to radio the hospital and talk to a doctor or a nurse and let them know what they’re bringing in so that the hospital is prepared to receive the patient in order to expedite care for the patient.

The difference between a paramedic and an EMR is the level of training. Burrier said that paramedics have training just short of physician assistants or a nurse practitioner. It requires over 1200 hours of training. Burrier said that in order to get the program going and in looking at the current experience of the personnel here, he recommended starting with EMR training which can be completed in about 100 hours. He said that when Guam started their emergency response program several years ago, they also started with the same level of training. The EMR training gives responders the basics to respond to patients, what he called the ABC’s— airway, breathing, and circulation. From there giving a secondary assistance such as providing oxygen, treating for shock, helping a patient in a diabetic emergency by administering glucose, assisting with nitro glycerin tablets, and albuterol inhalers.

20180713 142939“So it gets them on board on understanding in practiced interactions with the public,” he said. “From there, the next step, which we hope to see in the next couple of years, is moving up to the next level of training which is Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), which requires about 170 additional hours of training. EMT is the minimum level of training that we have in Guam.”

The EMR training was intensive running the gamut from laws pertaining to EMR, report writing, communication, child delivery, back board movement of injured patients, and a wide range of other important topics.

Pohnpei medical responders will work in teams of two on rotating 24 hour shifts.

Continuous training is required for emergency responders and much more training is planned including high angle rope rescues and a variety of emergency response techniques.

Burrier said that he was in Pohnpei two years ago for a similar training. He said that this time around, the energy and desire to learn displayed by the students had gone far beyond his expectations. “Their attentiveness and alertness is there. They were interacting with the people. They weren’t so shy about it. They’re more secure in themselves. Their patient assessment skills have increased…They’ve done a tremendous job and I would say that if I was in a situation where I would need their help, I could count on them to do the job,” Burrier said.

“They’re doing something that is totally unique to anywhere else in the world,” he said. “Anywhere else there are already mentors in place. There are already other people doing the job. Here, there’s no one mentoring them other than when an instructor is here. Here, they have to count on each other and I’ve seen them working together really well.”


July 11, 2018

The Micronesia Islands Forum Secretariat (MIFS), the coordination body for the Micronesia Islands Forum, is pleased to announce the hiring of the Regional Invasive Species Coordinator, Mr. James Stanford and the opening of the Regional Invasive Species Coordination Office in Koror, Palau.

Invasive Alien Species (IAS), sometimes called invasive species or pests, are detrimental species which arrive and establish in places outside of their native range. On Pacific Islands, these unwanted pests can and do cause significant impacts across all sectors and segments of society. We as islanders are all impacted by IAS which can negatively impact human health and quality of life, food security, economics, culture, natural resources including imperiled native species and our ability to address climate change.invasive

In 2005, as part of the development of the Micronesia Chief Executives Summits (MCES), the Regional Invasive Species Council (RISC) to the Chief Executives was established. The RISC is composed of up to two delegates from each of the member jurisdictions. The core RISC members include: Palau, Marshall Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia National and its four states Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap. Our colleagues in Hawaii also participate with and support the RISC.

In 2015, after several years of extensive effort and through the support of numerous partners including the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) which provided significant financial backing and the University of Guam which provided a regional nexus for coordination, the U.S. DOD released for the region a Regional Biosecurity Plan for Micronesia and Hawaii or the RBP. The RBP is a one of a kind document providing a regional framework for advancing and strengthening invasive species prevention and management for Micronesia and Hawaii. While the RBP incorporates hundreds of actionable items, one of the top priorities is establishment of a regional invasive species coordination office, to facilitate both local and regional efforts towards invasive species risk and impact reductions.

In 2017, the MIF was established as a successor to the MCES and in 2018 the MIFS was established in Palau. And now through the its efforts and the support of many partners, the MIFS has provided for addressing this high priority action from the RBP through the hiring of the first ever Regional Invasive Species Coordinator. The Coordinator, Mr. Stanford has worked in the Pacific Region as an invasive species and biosecurity specialist since 2004 and has a long history of supporting the jurisdictions of Micronesia and working with the RISC.

Mr. Stanford arrived in Palau less than a week ago and he is already busy with numerous tasks including getting the office up and running, opening dialogue with the MIF jurisdictions, planning for a review of the RBP and supporting the updating of member sub-sections and priorities, coordinating with a wide array of partners and potential donors and developing grant proposals to support invasive species prevent and management work within the region.

Our islands already have many IAS that are established and causing harm. And there are many more pests which have not yet established on various islands, but which are a threat and at risk of establishing. Our roles as citizens of the Pacific is to work together to prevent additional pest incursions and to implement sound management of those which are already established, ultimately reducing risk and impacts, which in turn will promote healthier ecosystems, economies and communities, improving our lives and strengthening our communities and islands.

In parting, James would like to express that establishment of a regional coordination office is an excellent step, but as important as coordination is, ultimately securing our islands from pests, termed “biosecurity”, involves everyone, residents and visitors. James relayed that “we are all biosecurity officers and we all need to do our part in protecting our islands, our homes from invasive species”.

2018 uog anaoParticipants and instructors of the “Tropical Forest Ecology” course pose for a photo on the East Coast of Guam. The 17-day course was offered by the University of Guam in partnership with Iowa State University and the U.S. Forest Service from May 21 to June 7.

Forestry workers from around Micronesia have returned to their home islands with newfound knowledge and a fresh perspective on conservation following an intensive 17-day course offered by the University of Guam (UOG) in partnership with Iowa State University and the U.S. Forest Service. Professors from both universities led 15 participants in a “Tropical Forest Ecology” course from May 21 to June 7.

“This is the third time we’ve taught the course, and it was the first time we had people working in forestry from several islands in Micronesia come together for a learning extravaganza,” said Ross Miller, an entomologist and research scientist with the Western Pacific Tropical Research Center at UOG. “Our hope is that it will inform their conservation work and help protect the terrestrial ecosystems on their home islands.”

Miller headed the course along with Haldre Rogers, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology at Iowa State University. The bird-less forests of Guam inspired Rogers’s research and Ph.D. thesis focusing on the wide-ranging effects of bird loss on the forests where they disappeared.

The intensive course took students on a comparative journey through the forests of Saipan and Guam. Participants worked in groups to develop a hypothesis and then headed into the field to collect data. Evan Fricke, a post-doctoral researcher from Rogers’s lab, worked with the group on Saipan, and Ann Marie Gawel, a doctoral candidate in Rogers’s lab, assisted on Guam.

The comparison of forests in Guam and Saipan proved impactful for the students.

“To see the fragmentation and loss of forests on Guam is very alarming,” said Wendolin Roseo Marquez, a participant from Pohnpei who works as a Senior Grants Officer with the Micronesian Conservation Trust.

Levani Shiro, a student at Northern Marianas College, said she was also greatly surprised by the enormous impact invasive species have had on the ecosystems of Guam. “It was strange being in the field in Guam and not seeing or hearing any birds. It also seemed like there were many more mosquitoes than in the forests of Saipan,” Shiro said.

The students were eager to return to their home islands to apply what they had learned.

Valentino Orhaitil, a course participant from the Department of Forestry in Yap, said he felt the class was very important for natural resource managers and that it increased his knowledge base of relevant information that he plans to apply in the forests of Yap.

“It was very intense,” he said. “We covered so much material in such a short time, but the instructors were amazing.”

Marquez said he hopes to bring the course to Pohnpei in the near future to help build the capacity of terrestrial resource leaders and managers.

“The content was phenomenal. The course was fantastic, and the instructors were very resourceful and really knew their stuff,” he said. “Marine science gets a lot of attention, but farming and forestry are not as lucrative or considered as cool for some people.”

Rogers looks forward to the growth in exploration and research that this course may have inspired.

“What excites me about this course is that it allows students to participate in novel research projects that then generate more questions for future exploration,” Rogers said.

Photo Credit: University of Guam Western Pacific Tropical Research Center

Participants and instructors of the “Tropical Forest Ecology” course pose for a photo on the East Coast of Guam. The 17-day course was offered by the University of Guam in partnership with Iowa State University and the U.S. Forest Service from May 21 to June 7

Emanuel “Manny” Mori“

Chuuk for Unity” Group

I present my warm greetings to the people of Chuuk, both at home and afar.  Chuuk is presently mooring at port bent on launching a voyage to secede from the Federated States of Micronesia. Without alternate Compact-like partnership and unique arrangement for comprehensive cooperation, this secession movement could sail us headlong into an ocean of great turbulence and enormous hardship, raising the credibility of the future government of Chuuk. 

I refer here to the idea of: (1) severing of our friendship and leaving the Federated States of Micronesia, and (2) destabilizing the harmony and partnership with the people of the United States of America.  After all, this is what, in my view, Secession boils down to – a voyage of self-destruction for ourselves, the people of Chuuk.  For years, I have labored intensely to avert this voyage of self-destruction.  Even after leaving office, the interests and welfare of the people of Chuuk – our children and the children of their children – continue to be uppermost on my mind and deep in my heart.  I must not give up on them.

I have said what I had to say about this menace in our midst called Secession.  It is not my intention to hurt the feelings of those holding views contrary to mine and like-minded Chuukese.  My ultimate obligation is our children – not to leave behind for them a world of misfortune.  It is definitely not a legacy that my family and I wish to leave behind.

The United States Government in the person of its resident Ambassador, Robert Riley, has just released a videoed statement.  The purpose of the Ambassador’s statement is to clarify the position of the US in regard to the Compact, and that is not to interfere in the internal political processes of Chuuk but to clarify US position in relation to the Compact of Free Association. Chuuk’s desire is to secede from the federation and to enter into a new Compact with the US.  The US does not wish to establish a different Compact with Chuuk.  The Compact is purposefully designed to maintain a special relationship between the US and the FSM and the US, inclusive of Chuuk. The FSM and the US do have comprehensive and unique relationship, as Ambassador Riley pointed out in his videoed statement, in his meetings with Chuuk Leaders and the general public.

The Ambassador’s videoed remarks, including his subsequent “town hall meeting comments at Chuuk High School on 18 July were not just chitchat, but based on US policy position. Most likely they are a concerted production involving the State Department, the Department of Interior, the Pentagon and the Pacific Command, among others. To me, whether one is in favor or is opposed to the Chuuk’s Secessionist Movement, we should await to cast our votes on the question in January, or March 2019 in accordance with set legal process.  The voters of Chuuk must make an informed choice and clarification must be made about the “permanency” of such choice. 

I  shall share with you, my fellow Chuukese, the important points reflecting Ambassador Riley’s statements in light of the Compact of Free Association as perceived by the US.   They are:

  • Under the immigration provisions of the Compact between the US and the FSM, the FSM citizens, including those from Chuuk, are free to reside, go to school, and work in the US. Once the desire to secede prevails at the polls, the validity of the FSM passports held by the Chuukese people ceases.   This means that the approximately 30,000  Chuukese in the US and in the American Armed Forces, will be deported from the US. What shall we do for our people left stranded in the US?
  • In light of the reiteration by the US Government, the Compact is between the US and the FSM, inclusive of all the four states. Chuuk’s withdrawal from the Cmpact is tantamount to forfeiting its eligibility for Compact sectoral grant assistance.  Does the Republic of Chuuk or any other country, other than the US, have the absorptive capacity to make up for the gigantic loss of assistance?  I have spoken long and hard about this plaque.  Getting out of the Compact and leaving the FSM are a suicidal act of juvenile impulsivity!
  • The US federal programs and technical assistance schemes extended to the FSM are an immense support to all, including Chuuk. Will the Chuuk Republic have the wherewithal to provide assistance to families in times of natural disaster, for instance?  Will Chuuk have the means to buy out the FSM Government from the College of Micronesia or the FSM Telecom? 
  • The FSM Compact Trust Fund was intended as a “safety net” once the well of annual grant assistance was dried up. By seceding, Chuuk has forfeited itself from this possible source of support.
  • While the center of emphasis and technologies of national defense and security may shift from time to time, the imperative simply does not disappear in the middle of a sound moon-lit night. At least some semblance of it must be preserved.  Will the Republic of Chuuk continue to remain under the American defense umbrella?  Inasmuch as we do not wish to ask, we must ask:  if it seems that its security is at stake, will the US simply stand up and leave?

I appeal to you again, my fellow Chuukese, to put aside your partisan politics and to put above everything else the welfare of our children and future generations. I also call upon the leaders of Chuuk to avert us from this voyage of self-destruction and steer us back to our Promised Land.

By Sabino Asor

The Amended FSM-US Compact of Free Association is supposed to be built on mutual respect for the sovereignty of the compacting parties. The Amended Compact was signed on the ambassadorial level between the two nations. NOWHERE in the Compact does it allow the ambassador of either county to go into the other country to directly and personally participate in the local political process to influence the outcome of a local election or plebiscite.

The current US Ambassador to the FSM, HE Ambassador Riley, has recently distributed a video program in which he personally talks about the Chuuk Independence Movement, discouraging the Chuukese voters from supporting Chuuk's Independence Movement and stating that the United States may not be willing to enter into a separate Compact of Free Association with an Independent Chuuk Nation. Admittedly, a separate Compact with the US is one stated goal of the Chuuk Independence Movement, primarily to secure the privilege of the Chuukese/FSM citizens currently residing in the US jurisdictions by virtue of the existing Amended Compact. Ambassador Riley is now distributing his political video to the Chuukese internet audience and is scheduled to hold a meeting on July 18 at the Chuuk High School with interested Chuukese voters. Ambassador Riley claims his program is some sort of public service education program to share pertinent information with the Chuukese voters on their Independence Movement.

Apparently, the Ambassador believes the Chuuk State Government must have made an ill-informed decision in creating the Chuuk State Political Status Commission and its subsequent endorsement of the Commission's recommendation for Chuuk State to pursue political independence from the FSM consequent to the difficult experience within the FSM constitutional federation and to the scheduled termination of US Compact financial assistance in 2023. The Ambassador uses the threat of likely interruption of Compact assistance to the Chuukese people, including interruption or termination of the privilege for citizens to live and work in the US a reason for the Chuukese people not to support their state's official decision to pursue Independence from the FSM. OBVIOUSLY THE US AMBASSADOR'S ACTION IS CALCULATED OR INTENDED TO INFLUENCE THE CHUUKESE VOTERS' INCLINATIONS OR VIEWS BEFORE THE SCHEDULED PLEBISCITE IN MARCH, 2019.

The American Government, of which Ambassador Riley is the official personification in the FSM, calls the alleged Russian meddling in the recent US presidential election "a violation of American democratic sovereignty." They even hire a former FBI Director as special prosecutor and spend millions of dollars investigating the allegations. The entire world community agrees with the American indignant reaction. Even the Russians themselves deny the accusation, thereby admitting to the international norm against meddling in a sovereign nation's local political process.

What then, are we to make of the US Ambassador's action in conducting his own public campaign for the purpose of discouraging the Chuukese people from supporting their freely elected state government's official program to pursue separation from the FSM?? The Ambassador in his video remarks, does not even try to understand the underlying reasons for the Chuuk State Independence Movement. He simply claims that the current Compact arrangement between his country and the FSM or Micronesian entities is the best sort of arrangement there can ever be considering all the historical, social, economic and security circumstances surrounding the special relationship between the United States and the former Trust Territory or Micronesian islands.

It probably is not very nice to confront the US Ambassador with the many anomalies in the history of American colonialism in the Micronesian islands leading up to his lauded Compact relationship. But it is probably to his benefit to refresh his memory on why even some notable Americans like former US Ambassador to the UN, HE Donald McHenry, called the current Compact relationship "the culmination of A TRUST BETRAYED." It is in fact sad and insulting for Ambassador Reily or any other official American dealing with the Micronesian people to call the Compact relationships "the best there can ever be" considering the "Long and Winding Road" history of US colonialism in Micronesia and the current JEMCO micro-management of the current Amended Compact, all of which confirm such views like Ambassador McHenry or that of the former Press Officer to the Micronesian Compact Negotiation Committee, Paul Frederick Kluge, who, in his "The Edge of Paradise," considered the Compact Relationship "some kind of an indefinite postponement of the American obligation to develop the Micronesian islands to a real economic sustainable level."

Ambassador Reily does not really need to remind people that one of the foundations of the Compact Relationship is the American need to control the Micronesian Archipelago for military purposes. We understand that since the 1948 formative meetings of the United Nations in San Francisco, where US military strategists insisted that the Micronesian islands be labelled as a "strategic trust territory' to enable the Administering Americans utilize the islands for military uses, despite the fact that the US did not fight bloody wars in all of the Micronesian islands except for Peleliu, Kwajelein and Saipan and found Tinian an ideal bombers base from which to bomb Japanese cities. (In the case of Chuuk, according to the available history of Operation Hailstorm, the American fleet was simply hovering 100 miles outside the Chuuk Lagoon, between the Halls Islands and Nama island to receive much damage other than 36 planes shot down over the Lagoon to the Japanese 284 planes and 4o some ships destroyed).

If Ambassador Riley and anybody should really know, the Compact privilege to enter and live in the US is not really something to be proud of and used in a public campaign against the Chuuk Independence Movement because, for one thing, it is part of the failure of the Administering American Government's original obligations to develop the islands to a sustainable level as Mr Kluge and Ambassador McHenry observed. A more sinister reason is that the privilege is in fact the implementation of the controversial Americans' "Solomon Report" and "Nathan and Associates" reports of the 1960s, both of which reports recommended that "to achieve American strategic interests in Micronesia, the US would have to destroy Micronesian societies and cultures, move the islanders to the urban centers or to the US, to make them permanently dependent on American assistance, and secured permanent American strategic control over the region." Confirmation of the two reports' awful recommendation came during Compact negotiations were underway and some of the American negotiators were rather sympathetic to the Micronesians' unwillingness to agree to part from their islands to allow US military uses of the islands. That infuriated Ambassador Riley's former boss then at State, Dr. Henry Kissinger, (himself a descendant of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany), who reportedly exploded: "There are only 90,000 Micronesians out there, who gives a damn!"

We would like to believe that Ambassador Riley would give a little damn about the sovereignty of the islanders than his former State Department boss, We already gave Ambassador Riley's Deputy Chief of Mission and the Hawaii State senator, Mr Kalani English, who also interviewed members of the Chuuk Political Status Commission, assurances that the Chuuk Independence Movement is simply an attempted remedy for the inadequacies and inequities under the FSM constitutional federation and is equally based on Benjamin Franklyn's "self evident of which is that all people are ordained with certain inalienable life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." We definitely ask Ambassador Riley not to use the authority and prestige of his Government to undermine the Chuukese people's sovereign right to provide for their perpetual survival as a people.