8 Oct 2004

American Samoa paramount chief calls for summit on status of Manu'a island

4:34 pm on 8 October 2004

American Samoa's Paramount Chief, Galea'i M. Tu'ufuli is calling for a Summit of Manu'a Island leaders to discuss the future political status of the island group that was once an island kingdom.

Galea'i says the Deed of Cession between Manu'a and the U.S. government signed in 1904 provides King Tuimanu'a two forms of government - either a district of the Territory of American Samoa or a territorial form of government.

He says since Manu'a is presently a district of the Territory of American Samoa, perhaps it is time to explore the territorial form of government or some other option".

He says he believes the proper way to approach this matter is to develop new dialogue between the people of Manu'a and the US government.

Galea'i, who is the Manu'a District Governor, recommends each Manu'a village convene its council and discuss the direction.

The Paramount Chief offered the following options for discussions

They are a territorial form of government, a Republic form of government with free association with the United States and remain as part of American Samoa with provisions for a local budget for the District of Manu'a.