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June 18, 2009

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TR way outa line. He knows that what JT doing is good for palau and palauan people.

VoteYes.


With the world’s attention focusing on the nation, President Toribiong yesterday said that the decision to host several Guantanamo detainees is irreversible.

Toribiong was steadfast in his acceptance of the United States request, saying that Palau has to contribute and nurture its relationship with the US, one that has been helpful to the island nation through the years.

“We should not be begging all the time,” Toribiong said.

Toribiong said that he is honored that the US asked Palau to assist on this critical task involving the Uighurs, who are also reported to be Chinese Muslim separatists from mainland China.

“We’re a contributing partner to the US under the Compact (of Free Association),” the president said, reiterating that Palau should not always be on the receiving end.

As the US has helped and continues to help Palau, Toribiong believes it is reasonable for Palau to return a favor to its great friend and benefactor.

Toribiong also pointed out that it is in Palau’s tradition to help people in need.

Toribiong was aware of some negative publicity that Palau has gained since the decision to accept the Uighurs, but he believes that the naysayers are just “misinformed.”

“They (Uighur detainees) are not terrorists. They are not monsters. They have been released from incarceration and were determined to be not enemy combatants,” Toribiong said.

Toribiong disclosed that a team from Palau, including Health Min Stevenson Kuartei, Palau Community College President Dr. Patrick Tellei and Lawyer Kevin Kirk, who are all part of the Compact Review technical group meeting US officials in Washington Friday, was flown to Gitmo courtesy of the US, with Dir. Alcy Frelick of the Dept. of State and three lawyers of the Uighurs.

Toribiong said that he was advised yesterday morning that only eight Uighur detainees are willing to be interviewed.

“The request by the US was accepted. But these people (Uighurs) have lawyers. They have to be consulted. They’re not to be forced to be in Palau,” Toribiong said.

Toribiong said that he is still waiting to hear from Palau’s team to Gitmo when they come back maybe Thursday or Friday this week.

The president believes that there is no need for a public forum as the acceptance of the request had been made and it is “irreversible” but he will call for a meeting with all the governors, members of the Olbiil Era Kelulau and the traditional chiefs early next week to brief them about the team’s mission to Washington and Gitmo.

With regards to China’s opposition to Palau’s acceptance of the Uighurs, Toribiong said that their protest should be directed instead to the US.

While some are critical of Palau’s decision to accept the Uighurs, a local residing in Guam expressed his support for the president’s action.

“Hafa Adai from Guam. Please remain steadfast on your decision to support our friends U.S. Contrary to some of naysayers, you have proven your leadership ability and make a call. I am sure it was tough but Palau needs that kind of leadership and interest. Good luck with God speed,” said Clarence Masayos in a letter to the president dated June 14. Masayos also serves in the US military.

TR is not out of line; he has every right to question what the president does. According to this article, the president claims he's fully informed the leadership of congress. When? during a family dinner with brother J, nephew M, and cousin N?
Decisions like this affect everybody and we all would like to know the issues.

I agree TR is way out of line on this one. By saying that Belau is not for sale, he has forgotten the eight years he was taking the stimulants from Taipei!!! What's the old saw-pot calling the kettle black?!!! Sounds like he is missing the lime light!!!

Mongan, may be we should have a referendum?

no time for a referendum. let's hurry up before we lose our chance at that pot of gold!!!

UALAP OT EMOCLEW (for you folks that don't read backwards - its WELCOME TO PALAU)

Isn't this sort of back-ass back wards? Why don't we ASK the people first before we go and do things so we have everyone on board.

"The President believes there is no need for a public forum..." Does the President believe that we don't need elections either? Now we see some backsliding on this issue with the mounting pressure against the idea. The decision is "irreversible." Make a decision and consult with the populace LATER. Placate them with $$$$ and deal with the realities of this very heavy issue LATER.

I'm the President, you can vote for me LATER?...or in the case of FIB - come into Palau and start a business and then prove that you are legit and have the finances to operate your business in Palau LATER.

Or, I'll hire you as "Director" and you can give me your job application and qualifications LATER.

Or, lets get the Hyundai SUV's for the Ministers now and explain it to the people and try to make it fit the procurement policies and regulations LATER.

Or, I'm going off on Government travel, so get me a ticket and I'll do the required paperwork LATER.

Or, I'll suspend Director/Chief of Such and Such, and I'll justify it LATER.

Or, lets make an international ass out of ourselves and get negative press coverage and deal with the fallout in our tourism industry LATER.

Or, lets submit a backwards ill explained unbalanced budget now and fix it LATER.

I guess this month is backwards month. I guess I didn't get the memo, or perhaps we will get the memo LATER.

Obama Bows on Settling Detainees
Administration Gives Up on Bringing Cleared Inmates to U.S., Officials Say

By Peter Finn and Sandhya Somashekhar
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, June 12, 2009

The Obama administration has all but abandoned plans to allow Guantanamo Bay detainees who have been cleared for release to live in the United States, administration officials said yesterday, a decision that reflects bipartisan congressional opposition to admitting such prisoners but complicates efforts to persuade European allies to accept them.

Four Uighur detainees, Chinese Muslims who were incarcerated at the U.S. military prison in Cuba for more than seven years, arrived early yesterday in Bermuda, where they will become foreign guest workers. An administration official said the United States is engaged in negotiations with other countries, including Palau, an island nation in the western Pacific, to find places for the remaining 13 Uighurs held at Guantanamo.

The Uighurs, who were ordered released by a federal judge last year, never counted America as an enemy, according to the men's lawyers and human rights groups, giving the administration grounds to argue that they should live in the United States. Picked up in Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2002, the Uighurs were later cleared of the "enemy combatant" label but remained in minimum-security confinement at Guantanamo.

Attempting to settle non-Uighur detainees in the United States would generate even greater congressional opposition, and the administration has decided not to pursue it broadly, an administration official said yesterday, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. But he said there may yet be "a few" candidates for settlement in the United States among the dozens of Guantanamo detainees who have been cleared for release.

Congressional Democrats yesterday reached agreement on a war-funding bill that would allow detainees to be sent to the United States for trial. The draft bill included no provision for prolonged detention without trial, a step that President Obama has said will be necessary to incarcerate detainees who are too dangerous to release but who cannot be prosecuted.

The four released Uighurs -- Huzaifa Parhat, 38, Abdul Semet, 32, Abdul Nasser, 32, and Jalal Jalaladin, 29 -- were flown out of Guantanamo on a chartered plane early yesterday and are staying in a guesthouse in Bermuda.

"They are thrilled to be free and trying to get a sense of where they are," said Susan Baker Manning, a lawyer for the four men who accompanied them on the flight. "They are understandably very eager to put their lives back together."

Nasser thanked the government and people of Bermuda, which is a British territory. "Growing up under communism," he said, "we always dreamed of living in peace and working in free society like this one. Today you have let freedom ring."

British officials, however, expressed displeasure that they were not consulted about the transfer. A Foreign Office spokesperson in London questioned "whether this falls within [Bermuda's] competence or is a foreign affairs or security issue for which the Bermuda Government do not have delegated responsibility."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton later discussed the matter with Foreign Secretary David Miliband to assuage British concerns.
Shortly before the announcement of the transfer to Bermuda, Qin Gang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, called the Uighur detainees "terrorist suspects" and insisted they be returned to China. The Obama administration has ruled that out, fearing they could be tortured or executed.

Two other Guantanamo detainees, an Iraqi and a Chadian, were released and arrived in their countries yesterday. The Chadian, Mohammed El Gharani, was the youngest detainee at Guantanamo. He was 14 when he was picked up in Pakistan in 2001 and turned over to U.S. authorities.

"It could be a big week for Gitmo," said a second administration official, also speaking on the condition of anonymity, adding that there is a possibility that as many as four more detainees could be transferred in the next couple of days. The administration is also finalizing a deal with Saudi Arabia to accept some of the nearly 100 Yemenis who are among the 232 detainees remaining at Guantanamo, U.S. and Saudi officials said.

The news that the Uighur detainees would not be transferred to the United States was greeted with a mix of relief and disappointment by Uighurs who reside in Northern Virginia, some of whom had been preparing for the arrival of the detainees.

"Here we have a big community," said Elshat Hassan, 47, a former university professor, who came to the United States in 2006. "We have lots of Uighurs and organizations. We are willing to help them in any aspect of their lives. It is much better if they were resettled in Virginia."
More than 300 Uighurs, believed to be the largest concentration in the country, live in the Washington area. They have trickled in over the past 40 years from Xinjiang, a Chinese province where their movements are closely tracked and outward religious displays are banned.

Hassan said he had left a one-bedroom apartment in McLean for a larger one in Alexandria in the hopes of hosting at least one of the detainees.
But opposition on Capitol Hill to freeing detainees has dramatically intensified since January, when Obama announced plans to close the military prison within a year. Virginia lawmakers, including Sen. James Webb (D) and Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R), say they oppose Uighur resettlement as a matter of national security. Some of the Uighur detainees had received rudimentary military instruction at an Afghan camp, which some critics have described as a terrorist training camp but which the detainees' lawyers have said was a village of Uighur refugees.

Wolf, whose Northern Virginia district is home to many Uighurs, has been among the community's closest allies in Congress. But he has found himself at odds with it over this issue.
"There is a clear distinction between those individuals who have received training as terrorists and the Uighurs who are here, who yearn for democracy and fundamental freedom and rights," Wolf told about 100 advocates last month at the Capitol during a meeting of the World Uyghur Congress, an international coalition of expatriate groups.
Obama said recently that 50 detainees have been cleared for release as part of an ongoing review of each detainee's case. Dean Boyd, a Justice Department spokesman, said the number cleared for release is now "substantially higher" than 50, but he was not able to provide an exact number.

State Department special envoy Daniel Fried visited Palau last week, and a delegation from the country is on its way to Guantanamo to interview other Uighur detainees this weekend. But military and administration officials said Palau would not be taking all of the remaining Uighurs at Guantanamo.
Fried also visited Australia last week, but officials declined to say if the United States is close to a deal with its Pacific ally to accept detainees.

Fried also negotiated with Germany, which has a Uighur population in Munich. But Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble balked at any transfer and pointedly asked U.S. officials why they were not accepting the Uighurs themselves if, as they insisted, they were not dangerous, according to German reports.

According to Sarah Mendelson, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies who authored a report on closing Guantanamo, "Once it becomes clear no detainees will be settled in the U.S., potentially you could hear doors slamming all over Europe."
Staff writers Perry Bacon Jr., Del Quentin Wilber and Steve Hendrix and staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

Note: Did my own research since too much bias in the local media and too many inconsistencies from politicians.

I listened to this interview via NPR the other day. And I still think the US should've accomodated them. What can we offer them that the US can't?

either way... whats done is done, it's in the past.

Now what do we do with the decision? That is the question.

I dont agree TR is out of line, at the same time he's not the president anymore and he's just going to have to deal with it just like everyone else.

The people do have the power since last I checked we live in a democracy. We elected our leaders to represent us and so our views/opinions should be taken into account.
That's one of the reasons why the US is NOT taking them because their voters, the American people, are opposed to it, and their Congress has heard it loud and clear.

I'm glad TR is saying what is on a lot of people's minds, but are too afraid for their jobs to speak up. This admin has used so much fear and intimidation to keep everyone quiet and they continue to spread lies and blame to cover up their own inadequacies or to justify their own actions. It really is pathetic and very easy to provide proof of that.

Hope the non-Palauans reading this blog are aware of that. I know the non-Palauans living here are very aware of that.

Mardi,

We definitely will get the Memo LATER!

why are you using my name anyways way too much?
get your own dude.

Hey Mardingoal,

Perhaps you have forgotten. We have already had an election and Toribiong won. Get off the grass why don't you. Go back to your sissy boy friends!

TR is a traitor who bankrupted Palau. I can't wait for the day when JN kicks his ass and puts him in jail where he belongs!

Sulang

You said it herring,

TR screwed the wrong dude when he messed with JN!

That midget is toast! Lol

JN?

Can I bid my money to buy Palau in Ebay?..hahahaha

How about those who flew the planes into Twin Towers were they non-combatants too? How about those who walked into camp of US military and blew themselves up killing US soldiers were they non-combatants too. Some of you people are plain naive. Here most of you say you do not trust lawyers and because the lawyer for the Uighurs say that they do not consider US as an enemy you scratch your heads and say okay? These people were in Afganishtan for training for crying out loud. And the training was not for Goodwill or Savaltion or Red Cross. Get the point. Oh, Tommy should not be shooting his mouth off. He would have sold Palau if he ran out of toys to play with. Most of these mess was created during his watch and we're only get the after effect of it now.

tommy is talking like a 2nd grader.

Palau cannot be sold. The constitution cannot allow it.


Tommy misses the lime light being the President so he has go against JT to get some attention.

Looks like JT is more concerned about the limelight and being enigmatic. He's so full of himself that it's even become apparent to the outside world. He brought Palau into the limelight for all the wrong reasons. And, his flip-flopping on the issues speaks to his weak and bad leadership. You think the US doesn't know about his skeletons in the closet? If they didn't before, they do now. And, they don't care about TR's, he's no longer President.

ssss,
There are 19,000 Palauan residents and 14 Uighurs, a ratio of 1,357 to 1. What are you scared of? Go buy some more Depends, you're soiling yourself.

Iang Hai.

If Palau needs to be sold TR made it so!

TR bankrupted Palau with his stupid policies and corrupt practices!

Put Tommy and his Ministers in jail!

Sulang

President Johnson Toribiong is a genius. In one single decision he made $200 million for Palau and at a time when the country needed money.

What did TR do? Spend, spend, spend money the country did not have!

Viva President Johnson Toribiong

I think we should sell that twerp midget Tommy to the Chinese circus. Lol.

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A chedil e rengelekei.

no...what TR really meant was JT is not selling Belau the right way. Tommy sold belau a long time ago he just want some kick back from the next sale so he can complete his mansion in honto.
'Let the attack commence'.......

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