Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Gai Respetu

Originally published January 20, 2006 - Guam PAcific Daily News

-You would think that the Pacific Daily News, having been in our homeland forover 50 years, would by now evolve as an institution that works to achieve acollaborative atmosphere, promoting dialogue for a good vision for Guam'spolitical development and leadership in the Pacific rim. Instead, the line ofquestion to eliminate the Commission on Decolonization (Dec. 15 Sunday Forum),indicates an immature, agenda-setting, self-interest laden power sector of thecommunity. There is a law in the books addressing Guam's decolonization. Onedoes not eliminate a law.

What this island community needs is the encouragement for discussions regardingthis sensitive and complex issue. Sensitive and complex not because the Chamorro people made it out to be, but because Guam's non-status and lack of politicaldevelopment under the U.S. flag, as well as its economic circumstances, havebrought a difficult situation to the Chamorro people -- a juncture of now havingto defend their rights and find for themselves the best practices and policyresponses to exercise their legal and political right to self-determination.

A good medium seeks to enhance and deepen a community's understanding of complexissues, not instigate the trampling of a people's human rights by recyclingtheir offensive reference to a noble principle or by alluding to it as somethingoffensive to be eliminated. Promoting dialogue and discussions fosters acollaborative atmosphere, better education, bridges gaps and perhaps even goodnetworking among peoples who have made Guam their home. These should eventuallybring certain expertise about the various issues and can turn into good policy-- not just for the beleaguered Chamorro people of Guam, but for their goodneighbors as well. Gai respetu!

HOPE A. CRISTOBAL
Former Senator
Tamuning

Copyright 2005 I Nasion Chamoru.

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