14 Jun 2011

American Samoa Congressman disagrees with Governor over calls for decolonisation

1:54 pm on 14 June 2011

Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin has weighed in on Governor Togiola Tulafono's statement to the United Nations Committee on Decolonization concerning American Samoa's relationship with the United States.

For more than ten years now American Samoa has been asking the UN to be removed from the UN's list of non self governing states, because it is not a colony.

At the most recent meeting of the Special Committee of 24, Governor Togiola said the United States should be persuaded to make decolonisation a priority.

The governor's statement also lamented the negative effects of federal laws, such as the minimum wage law, that are tailored for states, not small insular areas like American Samoa.

But Congressman, Faleomavaega says some of the governor's statements are inaccurate:

"To suggest the federal government has not done enough in terms of aiding us in our sense of political development, in my opinion is not true. Our people just rejected a proposed constitution by a vote of 70 per cent and he federal government had nothing to do with that."

Faleomavaega says he will write to the UN committee to express his views