23 May 2013

CNMI group says Pagan too precious for US army use

7:17 pm on 23 May 2013

A group representing the interests of the indigenous people of the Northern Marianas says the island of Pagan is far too precious to be used by the United States military.

The comment follows a call by the Northern Marianas Descent Corporation for the governments of the CNMI and the US to hold immediate talks over the US military's plan to take over Pagan for training and live fire exercises.

The group's president, Ana Sablan Teregeyo, says the volcanic island is rich in biolgocial diversity as well as a lucrative mineral called pozzolan which is used in concrete.

She says people who were evacuated from Pagan in 1981 now wish to go back.

"In fact that is one of the main concerns of the corporation, to assist these individuals who wanted, who've been waiting to return. They were evacuated to Saipan right after the volcano eruption. And they've been waiting for an all-clear notice from the government to return."

Ana Sablan Teregeyo says the US military has polluted and destroyed other islands it has used in the Commonwealth.