In Defense of Our Honolulu Consulate General people

I want to apologize to my brothers at the FSM HNL Consulate, Mr Sweeter Phillip, Mr Danny Rescure and most especially, Mr Tadao Sigrah. My post on this thread has inadvertendly dragged them into the limelight of public scrutiny and criticism, some of which are not exactly kind.

While it is up to the citizens to comment on the performances of their public officials, I am most surprised that one of the citicisms against Mr Tadao Sigrah is the allegation that he rarely or never attends to nonrelative referral medical patients.

(This particular complaint sounds very much like a Chuukese complaint, because most Chuukese always expect their government leaders, i.e. governors, legislators, congressmen, ambassadors, directors, to visit them at the hospitals, and maybe even their officials to administer to them their cough syrups or tylenol tablets or change their bed sheets at the hospitals?)

I find this particular complaint against Consul General Sigrah curious because it sounds like those people are confusing Mr Sigrah's consulate responsibilities with the responsibilities of the Chuuk State medical referral officials in Hawaii. The Chuuk State medical referral officials who work at the Chuuk Patients House in Salt Lake City, Ohau, and are on Chuuk State payroll are the ones with the primary responsibilities of attending to every Chuukese patient's needs in Honolulu or Hawaii. We can assume that would be the same situation with any Yap State, Kosrae State or Pohnpe State medical officials in Honolulu. The Consul General can attend to the patients or other social functions if he had the time or know the people, but should not be accused of ignoring every patients needs when he is not the primarily responsible official.

It is unfortunate that people accuse the Consul General for attending to FSM officials transitting Honolulu instead of attending to the sick patients citizens. But the truth is that seems exactly a part of the Consul General's responsibilities. It seems the closest FSM law on the question, Title 10 of the FSM Code, directs that part of the Consul General's responsibilities were to attend to government officials' official needs than attending to private citizens health needs. Because the Title is not exactly specific and clear, one can also go to Wikipedia Encyclopedia on the internet (Wikipedia.org) for a brief discussion of the general function of a consulate general. (I have posted part of that brief dicsussion below to help resolve the seeming confusion over our FSM HNL CG's responsibilities vis a vis our referral patients in the Hawaii hospitals).

Hope the brief dicussion helps clarify our citizens' misconception of our Consulate General's primary responsibilities.
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Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.org:
***The title Consul is used for the official representatives of the government of one state in the territory of another, normally acting to assist and protect the citizens of the consul's own country, and to facilitate trade and friendship between the people of the country to whom he or she is accredited and the country of which he or she is a representative. This distinguishes the consul from the 1. ambassador or chargé d'affaires, who is, technically, a representative from one head of state to another. Thus, while there is but one ambassador representing a nation's head of state to another, and his or her duties revolve around diplomatic relations between the two countries, there may be several consuls, one in each of several main cities, providing assistance with bureaucratic issues to both the citizens of the consul's own country travelling or living abroad, and to the citizens of the country the consul is in who wish to travel to or trade with the consul's country.

Activities of a consulate include protecting the interests of their citizens temporarily or permanently resident in the host country, issuing 2. passports; issuing visas to foreigners and public diplomacy. However, the principal role of a consulate lies traditionally in promoting trade - assisting companies to invest and to import and export goods and services both inwardly to their home country and outward to their host country. And although it is never admitted publicly, consulates, like embassies, may also gather intelligence information from the assigned country. This is especially important if the consulate is located in a port city.
Between Commonwealth countries, both diplomatic and consular activities may be undertaken by a High Commission, although larger Commonwealth nations generally also have consulates and consulates-general in major cities. For example, Toronto in Canada, Sydney in Australia and Auckland, New Zealand, are of greater economic importance than their respective national capitals, hence the need for consulates. In British colonies, most notably Hong Kong before its transfer to China in 1997, senior envoys in these missions were usually known as Commissioners, but are now known as Consuls-General, subordinate to an Embassy in Beijng.
Some consuls are not career offcials of the represented state at all; some are locally-engaged staff with the nationality of the sending country; (see Chapter 1, Section 1, Article 22 of convention), and in smaller cities, or in cities that are very distant from full-time diplomatic missions, a foreign government may decide that some form of representation is nevertheless desirable, and may appoint a person who has not hitherto been part of their diplomatic service to fulfill this role. In some instances, the honorary consul may not be a citizen of the sending country, and may well combine the job with their own (often commercial) private activities, in which case they are usually given the title of honorary consul. Many members of the public are not aware that honorary consuls are not full-time diplomats. Graham Greene used this position as the title of his 1973 novel The Honorary Consul.****
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If our citizens still do not agree with the functions of our consulate people, they can urge their elected representatives to delineate more responsibilities for them. But for fairness sake, let's not just confuse our medical referral people with our consulate general people out of misinformation.

Comments

  • Thanks for the explanation but despite the description of what the role of a consul is, I firmly support the case that the FSM consul in Hawaii should provide assistance to all FSM citizens, offical or not, when they ask for assistance. Mr. sigrah shall not choose and take. It goes with the position.

    What do you say Lorin Robert? Can you clear the deck for us on that issue?
  • Taksi! Taksi! Taksi!! Oh what the Hell, Cars! Cars!Cars!Cars!!!....Amo ani...
  • Rebel:

    Yes, I am in full support of your contention that the said consul SHOULD provide assistance to FSM citizens in Hawaii like what we should also assume of the other Consulte Offices or Embassies. However, that should be well defined... as to what extent, the scope, and type of assistance. That way, we would be able to know what to expect and what not to expect based on stipulated definition.
  • Just follow the (SOP)...STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES! ,..If it's not specified, then, by golly,somebody, anybody, Fix the darn thing!!!
  • Thank you Rebel, for clearing the notion of the Consul Generals positions. I agree with you 100% on this particular issue. Our Consul General should provide assistance to all FSM citizens. He shouldn't pick and choose whom he should or shouldn't help. Regardless of whom (e.g. John is a Kosraen and Joe is a Chuukese). He shouldn't only pick John since he's from Kosrae and Joe is from Chuuk. Goodness, isn't that the reason why we have our federation from the four states?

    While we're on this subject, that should go out to our brother Sam in Guam too. They (the Consul Generals should provide assistance to all the citizens of FSM, not only their brothers or sisters from their own statehood. That just isn't the right thing to do. I hope that Mr. Robert Lorin take a good look into this issue. We would like to be treated equally.
  • For cryin out loud, who expects Mr. Sigrah to attend to sick patients? there are people responsible for those areas. If there are misconception for Mr. Sigrahs role then it must have originated from the people of Fefan at the Chuuk house....after all...weren't they the first people to expect the moon to become their light? lol!!! The Fefanese even went as far as climbing the mountain to try get the moon with their long sticks so they can use it in their huts!! Talking about expectations, thats the kind of unbelievable expectation I am talking about, lmao!!!! Yes indeed, they are the first known astronauts!!!
  • Jene, it is okay to spill some sense of humor in MICSEM every now and then, but singling out a group of people is very irresponsible!

    Let’s not try to discuss why the people of Machew wanted to get the moon to use it at their “Fanangs”, rather let’s try to figure out why of all states and group of people why you single out Machew?

    Jene, I do not believe that the statement about no visits to patients was made by anyone from Chuuk. Here is why:

    1. Most of the states in FSM have their own medical referral program. Why would a Chuukese single out Tadao, instead of the Chuukese gentlemen in that office? No Chuukese expects them to help them unless they offer their own service. Again, visiting of patients is a personal matter, not an official requirement of people in that office.
    2. Kosrae state has a patient house that is located in Salt Lake. Don’t you think before the Chuukese expect Mr. Sigrah to visit them, the Koseans would be first in line to demand that service?
    3. Kosreans do have their own beliefs and expectation of their own officials. Perhaps seeing Mr. Sigrah at their door is one of them? What do you think?
    4. I do not believe it is part of their “official responsibilities” to visit patients. If they visit patients it would be by choice but not a requirement of positions.

    Jene, ke “turunong” Machew for a reason, Ke TONGEI CHON MACHEW – PLEASE DO NOT LET YOUR PERSONAL FRUSTRATION WITH CERTAIN INDIVIDAL TO CAUSE YOU TO SINGLE OUT MACHEW.. Are met!
  • lol@ their "long sticks"
  • Unless Mr. Tadao and his Consulate staff have the remedy to my illness, then I would EXPECT them to come running fast. Otherwise, I couldn't care less if they show up or not. Am sure they have other pressing functions to attend to than to welcome me to my sick bed in Hawaii. I don't know the perceptions of others, but geez, a sick person should be more concerned of when will the doctor show up than for some Government official to be holding their hands at bedside cooing comforting words like " You will be fine. " How would he know?

    Apparently, this little drama of making some noise here and there so our presence is known is in itself an overdose of self-centered pride with a little twist of insecurity. Being sick to the point of medical referral overseas states a serious health condition. One should be very worried about the medical procedures he or she will be undergoing under the care of total strangers, supposedly to be experts in medically bringing back to life a blocked artery, a tumor in the brain, a dysfunctional bowel anatomy, and etc. If that doesn't worry you, then think about your medical bill. Am just saying, that of all things to expect, your energy should be exhausted in mentally focusing in ensuring your body undergoes well with the scalps, metal pins, pills and all them medical gadgets that goes through, under and over your body as they try to re-charge your body back to normal. Forget about your Consulate General. He's got his own worries to tend to. If he shows up to see you, fine, just nod at him and re-focus your mind on your purpose of being there in the first place.
  • I don't see why the chuukese would expect that much from the consulate employees when the chuukese are the ones who get most of the attention from the consul's because 98% of the employees are chuukese. That is the reason why each island has their own medical employees here to be responsible for patients coming to hawaii. I have heard complaints from others for not being treated fairly at the consulate. And I personally think that the employees should be replaced. They have been there long enough and they don't do anything productive.
  • TaxiWomw,

    I appreciate very much your efforts to clarify the functions laying down for the Consulate officials, however, we all know that not visiting the patients is just one of the things they do not bother to do. We also know that Tadao Sigrah is the head of that office and therefore he's got an individual from Chuuk who's the right person to be complaining about.

    That office may have been established to carry out certain responsibilities which were based on the needs during the first two decades after FSM became a sovereign nation. This is the 21st Century and FSMers in several thousands are migrating to Honolulu and the US mainland. There's definitely needs to upgrade and modify the services rendered by that Consulate office to suit the needs of the FSM people. There are many problems the FSMers encountered on their own without any assistance provided by that office. Why? I say it's because the staff do not bother/care to go out and assess what kind of needs the FSMers need to be looked into and how are they going to be resolved. There's a need to re-consider the standing duties expected from these people at the office. The main office or the Foreign office at Palikir should take into consideration the fact that the people they need to cater services to are now in several thousands as compared with the few hundreds they used to leave FSM to study or to receive medical attention in the late 70's and early 80's.

    My point is that, although you, TaxiWomw, may have brought up some good points to compare our nation's Consulate office's responsibilities with other nations, please remember that our young nation is still learning to walk on its own as well as its citizens trying to find new pastures abroad without any prior orientation, preparations and all the necessary tools to live a new life away from home.
  • Majew, I apologize for hurting your feelings, did not know you are that sensetive to my nonsense post. I absolutely did not mean to come across the way you percieved my post, I was merely jesting with Taxiwom and Marv according to their posts. I love the people of Machew especially Marv and Taxiwom they are the coolest people in the whole Chuuk island; too bad we dont have 100 of them in Chuuk. I have families, even my best friends are from Machew, I been to Machew and back and have the time of my life so even though my post seem maliciouse and mean believe me it never meant to be maliciouse in any way form or shape. Sometimes we make fun of ourselves thinking we are the only one who have that right nobody else, thats the way I felt with that post...how we say that in Chuukese? Ukan pusin takirieine, wakakakk!!! Like that!! Read my post again you will realized that it is very nonsense!

    Kan fairo wom ne machewwwwwwwwwwww!!!
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