May 29, 2015
News Update
Up to US fishing industry to reel in Pacific fishing treaty
It is up to the American fishing industry to make the US Pacific fisheries treaty work, said Marshall Islands fisheries Director Glen Joseph as Forum Fisheries Commission members joined US State Department and
industry officials in Nadi, Fiji this week for yet another treaty negotiating session. The May 18-22 talks come just two months after the last negotiating session held in Auckland, which showed the two sides were still far apart on some issues. Getting to a final agreement “rests in industry hands, not the islands,” Joseph said in comments on the eve of the Fiji negotiating session. “If they want it, they have to maintain it. It’s just business.”
Read more about this in the June 5, 2015
edition of the Marshall Islands Journal
EPA's GM resigns
RMI Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) General Manager Lowell Alik submitted his resignation last week following his appointment as the new Director of the Office of Environmental Policy, Planning and Coordination (OEPPC). The EPA Board put Alik on forced administrative leave on February 2 this year along with other key senior staff including Mercy Elbon and Julian Alik. According to EPA Board Chairman Reginald White, Elbon has since been reappointed to her post to assist with EPA’s 2014 audit, meanwhile an internal review and investigation into the initial allegations which put the trio on leave has been conducted by EPA Chairman White. … See more
High Court Judge Dinsmore Tuttle on Friday ended a 35-year-old dispute involving an island in Kwajalein Atoll with an order based on a Traditional Rights Court ruling. The 37-page ruling delivered the court’s judgment on the dispute originally filed in court in 1980 concerning wetos (land parcels) on Bigej Island in Kwajalein Atoll. As an island at the US Army’s missile testing range, the dispute involves thousands of dollars in annual rental payments, including a large pool of money that has accumulated in escrow waiting for a court resolution. Prior to Judge Tuttle’s ruling Friday, the matter has been before the High Court, the TRC and the Supreme Court — as well as languishing for years without action. Many of the original plaintiffs and defendants in the originally filed lawsuit have died and were replaced by their descendants. “A thorough review of the voluminous record, according to the legal standards required of this court, leads to the following conclusion and order,” Judge Tuttle wrote in her decision:
• Bernie Hitto and Handy Emil hold the alab and senior dri jerbal titles, respectively, for Aibwij weto.
• Alden Bejang and Aun James hold the alab and senior dri jerbal titles, respectively, for Monke weto.
• Amon Jebrejrej and Calorina Kinere hold the alab and senior dri jerbal titles, respectively, for Lojonen weto.
• A default judgment against Beljo Korok that was issued by the High Court in 1996, but not enforced, is now in effect.
• An earlier order directing the Secretary of Finance to place all quarterly land rent payments into a Bank of Guam escrow account has been vacated. Judge Tuttle directed that money held in trust in this account “may be distributed according to the judgment entered above, subject to a 31-day stay. Unless otherwise ordered by this court, the stay will be lifted at that time.” This last directive holds up distribution of the funds until the 30-day period for an appeal of the decision to the RMI Supreme Court expires. Attorney James McCaffrey represented Alden Bejang, Aun James, Amon Jebrejrej and Carolina Hitto. Attorney Scott Stege represented Bernie Hitto and Handy Emil.
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Marshall Islands Journal
P.O. Box 14
Majuro, Marshall Islands MH 96960
Movies hard hit by influx of tellys – Until March of this year, the main form of intertainment in Majuro, aside from the obvious attraction of the bars, was the movie theaters. Since mid-March, however, cable television has been introduced and ... See more