Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

President Mori meets with Chuukese residing in Honolulu

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): September 27, 2009 - Honolulu (FSM Consulate) September 27, 2009: At about 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 27, 2009, President Emanuel Mori met with a large audience of Chuukese residing in Honolulu. The meeting was held at the Ka'ahumanu Elementary School in Honolulu, Hawaii and an estimated crowd of over 600 Chuukese residents turned out for this audience with President Mori.

This meeting was organized by one of the Chuukese community groups in Honolulu mainly to allow its members and others in the Chuukese community of Honolulu to meet with President Mori and his delegation, which included FSM Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin Robert, FSM Consul General in Hawaii, Akillino H. Susaia, Deputy Chief of the FSM Immigration, Mr. David Wolphagen, Deputy Counsel, Daniel Rescue and Foreign Service Officer, Mr. Henry Shrew. The need to have this separate meeting with the Chuukese residing in Honolulu is due mainly to the fact that most of the FSM citizens living in Honolulu are from Chuuk State.

A lot of issues and concerns were discussed in the meeting, but the most overriding issue or concern was the recent changes being proposed by the Hawaii State Government on its MedQuest program which provides low-income residents health insurance. In addition, concerns were raised on the issues of passport processing, the new amendments to the FSM Social Security law, and scholarships for students attending colleges and universities in Hawaii.

In his opening remarks, President Mori emphasized his administration's plan to work with the Hawaii State Government, especially its Congressional Delegation, to have the Abercrombie amendment pass the U.S. Congress. Congressman Abercrombie's amendment to the health reform bill now pending in the U.S. Congress will provide eligibility for FAS citizens for Medicaid and other social services programs. President Mori informed the people that the FSM Embassy in Washington D.C. is working cooperatively with the other FAS missions in Washington to ensure the passage of the Abercrombie amendment. Although this approach is considered the most immediate and long-term solution which would benefit both the State of Hawaii and the FAS citizens residing in Hawaii, President Mori also assured the people that his administration is exploring other options such as the purchase of the appropriate medical supplies and equipment which can be used for these specialized treatments and the hiring and training of the appropriate personnel to staff these treatment facilities in the FSM.

As part of his informing the people the current developments in the FSM, President Mori shared the marked improvement of Chuuk State's financial condition. The recent audits conducted on Chuuk State's financial statements, noted improvement from the previous fiscal year. President Mori said that this is indeed an improvement that Chuuk State should be proud of and the political leadership has to ensure that it is sustained over the years.

President Mori informed the Chuukese assembled that his administration is working hard to accelerate the implementation of the infrastructure projects in the FSM. He specifically made note of the need for Chuukese to find ways in which they can work with the Chuuk State Government and resolve the long overdue issue of government easements on privately owned lands in Chuuk. He underscored the fact that in Chuuk State most of the land is owned by private landowners and the government has found it very difficult to implement infrastructure projects like roads, sewer, water systems, school buildings and dispensaries because it costs quite a lot of money for the government to obtain easements on privately owned land. President Mori reasoned with the people that it is time that the people work with their government and allow the use of their land in order for these infrastructure projects to be implemented. Without the completion of these infrastructure projects, the economic and social development of Chuuk State will continue to fall behind the other States in the FSM.

Not wanting to downplay the enormous challenges facing his administration in terms of implementing the Compact of Free Association, especially the infrastructure sector grants to create growth in FSM's economy, President Mori frankly told the people that he knows that there were some missed opportunities during the past two and half years of his administration. This can be attributed to the time that it took to organize the administration and the time it took to strengthen the national government's role as a facilitator and coordinator of financial and technical foreign assistance. He reassured the people that the remaining years of his administration will be devoted to the overall objective of accelerating the implementation of the infrastructure development projects and providing investment opportunities in the private sector. The education and health sector grants provided in the Compact of Free Association are adequate to fund the improvement of the school facilities, hospitals and dispensaries in both the State Centers and the outer islands. President Mori said that he is committed to working very closely with the State Governments to bring about these improvements. In his closing statement, President Mori expressed his hope that the people will continue to make use of the privileges provided under the Compact of Free Association and continue to be good citizens and ambassadors of the FSM in whatever communities they have chosen to live in this great land of America.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356