13 Jul 2011

American Samoa tries to unravel US/Swains links

2:59 pm on 13 July 2011

American Samoa's member of the US Congress Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin is seeking to understand the full relationship between the United States and Swains Island.

He has made a request to the US Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, with copy of the letter to Representative Alexander Jennings, who is the Swains Delegate to the Fono.

Faleomavaega says he wants to understand the federal government's position in relation to federal funding.

Swains Island was placed under the administration of the American Samoa Government in 1929 when the U.S. Congress officially accepted and ratified American Samoa's two treaties of cession.

Under the terms of the ensuing ratifying Act, civil, judicial and administrative jurisdictions over American Samoa, including Swains Island, were vested with the Executive Branch, that is the Department of Interior

Faleomavaega says the outcome of such arrangements can be best described as very complicated and ambiguous.

He says he is not aware of any federal assistance for Swains Island other than allocated funds in the American Samoa Government budget.