FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND SELF-DETERMINATION: Chuuk Status Commission receives Legal Research Findi



ESG Committee Chairman Asor thanks Commission Chairman for the Findings and praise Legal Consultant for a superb job:Sabino Asor. (The Legal Consultant's name will be retacted for now for privacy reasons):

Today, 9:13 AM
Gilbert Paulus (; +16 more

Mr Chairman,

Don't worry, I know you are not one of President Christian's spies on this Commission. You are a more patriotic Chuukese than most members of our current Chuuk Legislature who seem eager to run away from this Independence Movement that they themselves created.

I thank you for sharing copies of our Legal Consultant's legal research findings on the legal footings for our Chuuk Secession Movement. The 57-page legal opinion with historical analysis and case studies of both FSM and international precedents, not only show that the Commission has gotten more than its money's worth for the legal services from Ms _______, but that Ms _______ professional caliber aptly matches the complexity of the question.

Mr Chairman, may I suggest to the Commission and to Chuuk State that should the question of Chuuk's Secession and Independence ever become a reality through the Lord's Blessings and Kindness, Ms ________ be listed in the official record of the New Chuuk Republic as one of the Founding Parents of the Republic, and her birthday be one of the official holidays for the Republic?? (Of course if Governor Elimo and any of our Chuuk State leaders will lend their unconditional support and commitment to the Independence Cause, their names or pictures could also be memorialized on the New Republic's dollar bills).

Our eternal thanks to Ms ________. Now it's every Chuukese leader's turn to carry the work forward. The amendment to the law on the date of the Plebiscite is submitted to the Legislature today for the Monday Special Session.

I join President Mailo in his jubilant call for a break after receipt of Ms ______ comprehensive Opinion. I agree that the Commission keeps the Opinion as internal Commission document that can only be revealed to the public at the right time to make the most effect. This Opinion should be to the commissioners what the Bible is to those God's servants (like Governor Elimo): Nothing to fear, but be extra cautious how to teach it.

Thank you all for your patience, and God Bless the Chuuk Republic!

SN Commissioner Asor


  • (Earlier Communication before the availability of the Legal Opinion)


    (Copy of Commissioner Asor's email message to Commission Chairman Paulus and members and staff of the Commission):


    Some of us have not received a copy of Ms (Commission's Legal Consultant) Legal Opinion, while other like Mr Wainit below have expressed thanks for their copies. Is the Commission Leadership now operating on a Donald Trump Republican style of favoritism? Please share the Opinion.

    Just for information, do commissioners know that when Governor Elimo had coffee with FSM President Christian this morning at the Hightide Hotel, the President raised questions on the Commission's effort to lobby with US authorities in the US? How did the President have these kinds of information? Do we have spies in our folds? How can the Commission do its work effectively against such sustained opposition by the FSM Government? We better not become chickens!!

    I have pasted the excerpts from the Pacific Daily News report on opposition to the Guam Self Determination Resolution in the UN. As you can see, there are major legal and political differences between Guam's right and the Chuuk State right that causes the US to vote against the Guam resolution. Guam is a US territory with significant US military assets and strategic value.

    SN Commissioner Asor


    Special Political and Decolonization Committee votes 80 in favor, 9 against and 62 abstentions.
    (Photo: Rick Cruz/PDN)
    A United States representative voted against a United Nations resolution relative to Guam's right to self-determination, stating the resolution contains language that appears to attack the United States.
    "We are deeply disappointed today to have been forced as a result of counterproductive additions ... to call a vote and vote against the resolution on the question of Guam for the first time in over 20 years," according to the U.S. representative.
    The Pacific Daily News was unable to confirm the identity of the U.S. representative, who was not named. The information was obtained by reviewing a recording of the U.N. hearing, which took place Wednesday in New York.
    The U.N.'s Special Political and Decolonization Committee voted on the draft resolution on the question of Guam, with the result of 80 votes in favor, nine against and 62 abstentions.
    The U.S., Japan, United Kingdom, France, Iraq, Israel, Morocco, Malawi and Ukraine voted against the resolution.
    The resolution, which has changed since it was first approved by a smaller committee in June, includes the call for the U.N. Assembly to conduct the following, among other resolves:
    encourage Guam and the U.S. to negotiate on self-determination efforts;
    call on the U.S. to cooperate fully with the committee to help promote Guam decolonization;
    request that the U.S. transfer lands back to original landowners on Guam;
    request that the U.S. acknowledge and respect the cultural and ethnic identity of the indigenous Chamorro people;
    plan a visiting mission to Guam; and
    ask the U.S. and Guam to protect the environment against harmful impacts of militarization.
    In early October, Gov. Eddie Calvo and sixteen petitioners, including Vice Speaker Therese Terlaje and Sen. Telena Nelson, appeared before the Fourth Committee to urge adoption of the resolution and to force the U.S. to cooperate with Guam's path to self-determination.
    Fourth Committee, 27th meeting - General Assembly, 72nd session
    Letter: People do care about Guam's political status
    Bevacqua: Despite improvements, Guam remains a colony
    U.S. disapproves
    The representative of the U.S. said the resolution contained problematic language that made it seem like it was being used as a political attack against America. He cited the regional tension brought up by North Korea, the federal court ruling that struck down Guam's plebiscite law and claims of negative impacts from military activities on the island.
    "The U.S. has a sovereign right to carry out its military activities in accordance with its national security interests," he said. He added that it's incorrect to assume that the military presence is necessarily harmful to the rights of indigenous people.
    On the subject of political status related to decolonization, the U.S. representative said the U.N. must stop looking at independence as the main option. Status quo and integration also are options, he said.
    "It is long past time for this body to eschew the outdated preference for independence as a one-size-fits-all solution, when we can all clearly see that many peoples prefer options other than independence," he said.
    The representative said that, while the U.S. acknowledges independence as an option, it also will accept non-self-governing territories integrating with the administrating power, or maintaining the status quo. It's a matter of the people's decision as a whole, he said.
    He also referenced Guam's plebiscite law, struck down in federal court, which would have allowed indigenous Chamorros on Guam to vote on their preferred political status with the United States

  • Taxi-Womw,

    I need a taxi to take me away from the Land of Confusion.
    Because I find myself wondering if this is just An Illusion
    But the Chuuk Commission keeps saying it’s only a Cessation
    To form a new Compact of Free Association

    Half of my coconut brain is asking, when should the Chuuk Commission be realistic
    The other half is asking, when should they be idealistic?

    When is chasing this “dream" (Independence) foolhardy
    and when is it visionary?

    Ideally, I personally think it’s a wonderful idea – Chuuk to be on its own, getting its own economic aid package without having to share with the other FSM States.

    Realistically, I honestly think the Chuuk Commission will face a very tough battle ahead starting with the Colonialist – United States.

    No offense intended to you Honorable AG Asor, but may I ask you a few questions.
    Perhaps you can help clarify or enlighten us – the ignorant coconutz.

    Since you brought up Guam’s UN news on its quest for a change in Political Status and the Chuuk State Commission’s Legal Counsel’s findings,

    • Does the UN Resolution 1514 (XV) – Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and People asserting that all people and all nations have the equal right to self-determination apply to Chuuk since FSM (which include Chuuk) already achieved its self-determination on November 3, 1986 when it became an independent, sovereign country under the Compact of Free Association with the US & became a UN member in 1991?

    • Is the appropriate channel or route for the Chuuk State Political Status Commission’s quest for a change in its political status through the United States of America or the UN or both? Of course, we already know FSM will tacklet it first.

    • It has taken Guam more than 5 decades & still counting to try and change its political status but the US essentially is still unwilling to make any significant changes to Guam’s political status due to its strategic location & small size.
    Do you think the US Republican-controlled Congress & the Republican President Trump will welcome and embrace the idea of breaking up FSM & creating a new political status for Chuuk?
    In other words, do you think Chuuk will get the necessary votes in the US Republican-controlled Congress to grant such a request? Remember, the Hawaii-sponsored Healthcare/Insurance bills to improve insurance access & coverage for COFA citizens have repeatedly failed in the US Congress.

    • Guam, over the past 5 decades including this year, have spent millions not only in trying to educate its people about its quest for a new political status but also in assessing the economic, social & cultural impacts that a change status would bring to Guam. In 2013 alone, Guam’s Commission requested $1 million.
    How much funds or appropriations has the Chuuk State Commission received since its inception? How much did the Chuuk Commision pay your Legal Counsel's findings?

    • Now that the Chuuk State Political Status Commission has received its legal findings on Chuuk’s quest for a change in its political status, has the Chuuk State Commission critically assessed the economic, social and cultural factors impacted by the island’s current political status and explored the possibilities, the pros & cons a changed status would bring to the people of Chuuk? Can we also get a copy of your findings?

    Again, no offense intended. Thank you Taxi-Womw

  • Thank you Anti for your questions. Be assured no offense over your very constructive criticism/questions. I will take your questions to the Commission to help formulate answers.

    Also, I commend your poetry, literary talents at the beginning of your post. Makes me wonder if you are a former student of the Mercederian Sisters who used to pinch students' ears if they did not learn the literature lessons in our private church schools like St Ceceilia School or Our Lady of Mercy.

    Any way, enjoy the holidays.
  • Thank you Taxi-Womw for responding,

    I don't know whether I should say,' fortunately or unfortunately', I was a former student of the Jesuit Priests. But I can say, luckily, I wasn't one of those who got molested...hehehe

    I think it would be interesting to see how the US would react to Chuuk's request especially around this time when China is stirring the Pacific pot (ocean), China & Russia are seemingly getting closer, possibly teaming up to counter US' world dominance and tensions or dispute of the South China Sea islands is growing.

    With tensions rising in Asia and China now becoming a Superpower economically & militarily, I strongly believe that whole North Pacific area which include FSM, Belau, Guam, Saipan & Marshall Islands has become even more valuable & important to the US government especially its military or the Pentagon.

    It's interesting that a Guam former Congressman believes the US will strike a new deal with FSM before the Compact expires in a few years because China is already making overtures and building relationships with the FSM He further said that it's crucial for US to maintain a friendly partnership with the Federated States of Micronesia because our islands/location represents a big hole in the middle of the ocean which is strategically valuable to the US.

    As former Guam Congressman Underwood said,"I think it behooves US planners to figure out how to cement this relationship and keep it going rather than worry about accountability or trying to get them on some important points, but certainly minor in comparison to the overall strategic posture that we face here in the North Pacific."

    With that said, in my opinion, timing is of essence.

    With tensions rising in Asia & China becoming a power to reckon with, US will no doubt extend & maintain its relationship with FSM. The question is whether US will be willing to renegotiate/negotiate two or more new political status agreements with FSM & Chuuk. Another equally important question is whether FSM/Chuuk State Commission will be fully prepared to justify its reasons to the US. And by the way, what is the proper protocol? - FSM to negotiate Chuuk's quest for independence/separation from FSM on Chuuk's behalf or the Chuuk State Political Status Commission itself or both? of course, only if the people of Chuuk decides to support the Commission's dream/goal, right?

    i could be wrong but I think the Chuuk State's Commission's greatest chance of obtaining US' approval (if the UN is not necessary) may be during this renegotiation/meeting (whatever they name it) prior to the expiration of our Compact. The question is, whether the Chuuk State Commission will be able TO DO WHAT IT NEEDS TO DO in order to adequately & properly educate the people of Chuuk & get the majority vote or consent of the people of Chuuk as well as the FSM gov before this negotiation/renegotiation/conference whateva the US calls it?

    The key to your (Commission's) success, in my opinion, will depend on your thorough assessment, careful research & analysis of the pros & cons, consequences & impacts on the economic, social & cultural factors a new status would bring to the people of Chuuk. Your findings will not only help you answer the people's questions but also help ease their concerns by educating properly & adequately in order to convince them to support your cause. Your findings may even help convince the US.

    So strategize, don't be disorganized. Analyze, do not criticize. Educate, do not complain. Time is running out. 2023 is fast approaching.

    Again, I could be wrong.

    Peace to you (Commission) & all those who are against the Commission's quest/cause.
    (We all already know people have already complained, will continue to say, no more money or stop wasting money.....but without proper funding, you aint' going anywhere...simple as that)
  • I wonder what would be the best option for Pohnpei to consider--if Chuuk's movement becomes real serious. I guess the following are possible: 1. just stay put and be prepared to focus on staying and improving the "federation" with Kosrae and Yap; 2. focus on making the Pohnpei much more economically self-sufficient;

    3. Be prepared to reduce the size of whatever would be left of the federation--to a size and scale that would be easier to handle and not over-burdening; 4. Be prepared to demand that all PNI Senators for whatever is left of the federation shall receive pay not more than the State Legislators; that the budget for all the FSM departments be smaller than the budget for the State;

    5. Other options to ensure that the federation as defined in the constitution will be able to operation without Chuuk--if it comes to that. In other words, work on it so there will be no need to have a plebiscite to amend the constitution to accommodate the Chuuk-less federation. Just some thoughts but still with hope that Chuuk does not leave the federation just because it can.
  • edited November 2017
    But why should Chuuk get its approval to becoming independent off the FSM. I thought the COFA between FSM and US states that the US will not have jurisdiction over internal matters in FSM. So why would FSM or Chuuk seek US approval. I would agree that US may decide whether to consider a separate pact with Chuuk should it become a separate nation or not. But will not interfere with FSM internal matters, Chuuk's desire to breakaway from FSM.

    One of the reasons why I think this movement will benefit the FSM:

    US will strengten its relationship with FSM, fearing Micronesian exploitation by other nation due to FSM's economic despair, thus financial infusion.

    - I am taken aback in history before FSM even came to existence, behind the walls, TTPI Headquarters -

    As the Micronesian leaders (TTPI) got together to decide on their fate, each of the six districts threw in what they wanted and why they made the respective decisions. (You may want to go back and take Micronesian History or ask Mr. Haglelgam to teach you what the Marianas, Palau and RMI thought was best for them, each, respectively).

    The remaining three (plus Kosrae - used to be a municipality within Ponape District) may have clinged on to the idea of 'unity' as instilled into the young minds of our very young at age leaders without realizing what the actual intend of the US was at the time.

    You see, any nation that seeks military strategic location would have done anything to have the Micronesian geographical location. And because the US had already been given the authority over the islands at that point, that was just what they did. They studied and captured the leadership of the remaining part of Micronesia, what is now the FSM. Being deceived with the notion that the only way forward for FSM then and into the future was to stay and remain together.

    The reality of the reason for keeping the remaining groups of islands together was to avoid multiple negotiations with different island groups (individual district), as in Saipan, Palau and the Marshalls. So the rest were like 'birds with one stone' approach.

    We have learned that much now. We all see how we have failed terribly economically, politically and socially, FSM.

    So why is Chuuk wanting to secede?

    Man, I need some smoke -

    I keep wondering why Joe Murphy of the Gannett News Paper had his column in the Pacific Daily News, the Pipe Dreams by Joe Murphy. Now I understand.
  • Good point pwiipwi Sinbad,

    That's one of the questions I asked our brutha Taxi-Womw so he said he will get back with the answers after consulting with the Commission.

    Of course, the first step is the seceding process which will be done internally within the FSM , without the need to get US approval provided that the people of Chuuk agree to secede.

    The part to obtain US approval is the negotiation of a separate pact or agreement with the US. I did ask Taxi-Womw whether this process will have to go through the US or UN or both.
    I also asked him whether the negotiation with the US will involve both the FSM delegation or the Chuuk Commission's delegation or both.

    I also brought up the specific UN law which grants independence to nations & people who wish to seek self-determination because it seems to apply to former countries which were colonized by the bigger countries like the US, France, England, our case, FSM (which include Chuuk) already achieved its independence, sovereignty when it signed the Compact of Free Association & became a UN member in 1991.

    That's why I asked if the proper channel or route for the Chuuk State Political Status Commission’s to seek a change in its political status is through the United States of America or the UN or both?

    We have yet to hear from our brutha Taxi-Womw

    Hope that helps clear the smoke

    I do, however, have some potent Afghan OG Kush , White Widow & Maui Wowie if you want some?

  • edited November 2017
    Wow wow.....I might go wowie wuu wawawee with all that stuff. Thanks anyway. lol

    Kinisou pwipwi.

    And thank you for the clarification. You've taken every word out of my mouth...couldn't say it better than they way you have, but similar concerns linger in my rotting coconut shell here. I guess I've stayed out at sea for too long gazing up at the stars at night dreaming of how life would be like without fish; and carried away in the day by the sensational comfort of the burning sun on my bare back forgetting that there is actually grounds to stand on; deceived by the quietness of the openness of the sea.

    ....for the love of Chuuk
  • I have a simple question: Why are the issues of self-determination and freedom of expression coming up now? Was that not the expression of self-determination when the Chuukese voters went to the poll; and voted to accept the FSM Constitution.

    They could have rejected the proposed FSM Constitution like the voters of Palau and RMI did. That was an act of self-determination. I believe there were even UN observers in all the locations during the election for the FSM Constitution--to ensure that "self-determination" was being practiced at that plebiscite. But that did not happen. I believe the Chuuk and Pohnpei leadership, at the time, were pushing for the FSM Constitution; and their constituents believed what they were saying.

    So I think the Chuuk Commission's quest to secede from the FSM should not be described as an act of self-determination--because self-determination was achieved during the FSM Constitution plebiscite.

    I think if some Chuuk leader are not satisfied with the outcome of Chuuk being in the FSM, they should aim their anger and recommendations at the current FSM heavy-handed centralization of powers--powers which were thought to be delegated to the states.

    I think the concerns and the reasons for Chuuk wanting to separate from the FSM could easily be addressed by the leadership of the FSM and Chuuk as well as each of the other FSM states. Sorry to put in my penny's worth of comments; but I hope the 4 FSM states can remain together, even in a looser arrangement--so that it can exist as a political unit until all the states are fully developed. Just wishing.
  • Pwipwi Marc,

    I believe (I could be wrong) Taxi-Womw was just using that topic or subject 'Self- Determination & Freedom of Expression' while posting the news on Guam's quest for self-determination in the UN to EMPHASIZE that all nations & people are entitled to self-determination.

    So one of my questions to him was whether that specific UN law apply to Chuuk since FSM (which include Chuuk) already achieved its independence or sovereignty when FSM signed the Compact of Free Association with the US & became a UN member.

    Another question was the proper channel or route for Chuuk's quest for a change in political status - through the US or the UN or both.

    Hope that helps
  • AntiC, thanks for the clarification. Yes, there is so much to digest from Taxi's posts; so I'll find time to read later and try to understand what is going on. I also wish they would release whatever is legal/political document as written by Ms __________.

    My feeling is that the UN already considers Chuuk as having gone thru the "self-determination" phase of its political development when the Chuuk voters, thru a UN-observed plebiscite, elected to join the FSM union, thereby, relinquishing its "inherent sovereignty" to the FSM--now, as a UN recognized sovereign nation.

    The US did not force Chuukese voters to join the FSM. The US looks like it had a hands-off policy with regard to the FSM Constitution. I believe this is the reason the US simply accepted the results of the FSM Constitution referendum: Palau and RMI rejected the proposed FSM Constitution. Chuuk, Pohnpei, Yap and Kosrae thru their votes elected to accept and thus join the FSM. The US would willingly work with these political units.

    There was nothing wrong with that, for example, Chuuk decision then. There is still nothing wrong with that decision now. I think the problem is that the FSM national government has become too big; eating up a lot of FSM budget; and is treating its member states with no respect. There is nothing wrong with the FSM Constitution. It allowed for the FSM national government to operate on a decentralized basis.

    But that is not what is happening now. Instead of decentralizing, it is centralizing. So I think this is creating a lot of dissatisfaction as can be seen by Chuuk and possibly others who want to see changes or if not, to get out from under the heavy burden that the FSM national government has become. Enough said from me. I have no particular agenda, one way or another. I just wish the FSM would remain together but that might be just a wishful thinking on my part as we look toward 2023 and beyond.
  • If Palikir were a brain, it would be diagnosed with brain tumor. FSM, the body, will be dead soon. The states, the offsprings, would each move out and build their own homes.
  • Pwipwi Sinbad,

    Your brain tumor analogy implies that a malignant & cancerous tumor is growing in Palikir (the Brain) which can or will eventually affect the central nervous system thus supporting Marc’s reasoning for the need for FSM gov to decentralize.

    Your brain tumor analogy on the offsprings, the States, to move out & build their own homes will not only embolden but also encourage Taxi-Womw & his Commission gang to shift into 2nd or 3rd gear full speed toward their dream before the body dies. Unfortunately, their ride ain't automatic - it's the manual one.

    A brain tumor is defined as an accumulation of abnormal cells in the brain. Normally, brain cells age, die and are replaced by new cells. In a brain tumor, however, the abnormal cells don’t die & they just keep growing.

    So if Palikir (the brain) is diagnosed with brain tumor, made of abnormal cells,
    who’s going to do the brain surgery then?

    The US? The people of the FSM or the States? Or the Chinese?

    I heard smoking weed is good for people with cancer.
  • Let's break the FSM tie and compete. Let's see who win.
  • edited November 2017

    I don't know AntiC, I don't know.
  • Good things happen when there is competition,.
  • A piece by Sabino Asor titled whos to gain and who's to lose in a independent chuuk is a good read and i highly recommend some of us pro or against to read it.
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