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MAJURO@ONLINE 
MARCH 1, 2002 (M.I.JOURNAL)

KWAJ-RMI: ONE VOICE BY: GIFF JOHNSON
CAN KWAJALEIN LANDOWNERS AND THE RMI GOVERNMENT SPEAK WITH ONE VOICE?
IT'S THE FERVENT HOPE OF PEOPLE ON BOTH "SIDES"  THAT THE ANSWER IS YES - ALTHOUGH THERE REMAIN OBSTACLES, CHIEF AMONG THEM THE BELIEF AMONG MANY AT KWAJALEIN THAT THEY ARE NOT BEING PAID FAIR RENTAL VALUE BY THE US GOVERNMENT - DESPITE A LEASE THAT DOESN'T EXPIRE UNTIL 2016.
LAST WWWKENS'S VISIT BY PRESIDENT KESSAI NOTE AND A MAJOR GOVERNMENT DELEGATION, THAT INCLUDED FOREIGN MINISTER GERALD ZACKIOS, WAS HIGHLIGHTED BY A MEETING WITH ABOUT 100 OF THE MOST PROMINENT KWAJALEIN LANDOWNERS.  THIS HAS HELPED TO INCREASE THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND LEADING LANDOWNERS.  iROIJ MIKE KABUA, YOUNGER BROTHER OF FORMER PRESIDENT AND IROIJ IMATA KABUA, IS MAKING SUBSTANTIAL EFFORTS TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER.
ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS LAST WEEKEND HE TOLD THIS REPORTER THAT WHILE KWAJALEIN LANDOWNERS AND RMI GOVERNMENT LEADERS MAY HOLD DIFFERENT OPINIONS AND NEED TO ARGUE OUT POSITIONS AND DISAGREEMENTS BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, "WHEN WE COME OUTSIDE (AND TALK TO THE US) WE MUST SPEAK WITH ONE VOICE."
IMATA KABUA AND SOME OTHER LEADING LANDOWNERS, INCLUDING KWAJALEIN NEGOTIATION COMMISSION CHAIRMAN SENATOR CHRIS LOEAK, ARE OUTSPOKEN ON THE SUBJECT OF THE UNFAIRNES OF THE CURRENT LEASE AGREEMENT FOR THE  USE OF KWAJALEIN ATOLL. THEY ARE INTERESTED IN AN EXTENSION OF THE US LEASE IF IT MEANS RE-NEGOTIATION OF THE TERMS OF THE PACT AND SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASING THE LEVEL OF RENTAL PAYMENTS TO THE LANDOWNERS. ...

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