16 Jan 2014

CNMI Senate wants Obama to delay submerged lands proclamation

3:00 pm on 16 January 2014

The Senate of the Northern Marianas says it wants the US president, Barrack Obama, to delay his proclamation conveying submerged lands surrounding the CNMI so that both sides can resolve issues regarding the exemption of five islands from the proclamation.

If Mr Obama signs the draft presidential proclamation in its current form this wek , the CNMI still won't have control over submerged lands surrounding five of its 14 islands: Farallon de Pajaros, Maug, Asuncion, Farallon De Medinilla, and Tinian.

The first three islands are part of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument established in 2009, while the last two are under lease to the US Department of Defense.

Some officials, however, conceded that last-minute appeals from the CNMI may just be an exercise in futility, considering that Mr Obama only has until tomorrow to withhold conveyance.