Friday, May 25, 2007

Justice for the Marshall Islands



Justice for Nuclear Survivors
Bravo H-bomb Anniversary
March 1, 2007


We ask the American people to educate yourselves on the injustices that we Marshallese suffered as a result of your 67 atomic and nuclear tests! Kemij kajitok bwe dri Amerka ren katakin ir make kin bwid im entan ko rar walok nan kim jen 67 Nuclear test ko!

We ask the U.S. Congress to reconsider passing the Changed Circumstances Petition (CCP) that our RMI government submitted to you in Sept. 2000! Kimij kajitok iben US Congress bwe en bar etale im kale CCP en im kien in an RMI ear lelok nane ilo Sept. 2000!

We ask Ambassador Clyde Bishop to advise the Administration of the United States of America to change your position on the CCP! Kemij kajitok iben Ambassador Clyde Bishop bwe en kokabiloklok lok Administration en an Amerka bwe en ukot an lomnak ikjen CCP en!

Name: Position:

Mrs. Rokko Langinbelik President, ERUB P.O. Box 683, Majuro, MH 96960

I support this Petition by the Marshall Islands Survivors of 67 U.S. atomic and nuclear tests.

1. ________________ _______________ ______________________

Please return signed PETITION to: Ms. Elma Coleman, P.O. Box 241015, Honolulu, Hawaii 96824

Each PETITION will be sent to your elected official, and to the Chairmen of the following: 1) Energy and Natural Resources Committee, 2) the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, 3) the House Resources Commitee and 4) to the International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific and the Global Environment.

For further information please contact:
Ms. Elma Coleman,1-808-422-4690(h),1-808-224- 6402 (c);
Ms. Julia Estrella,1-808-941-0317(h),1-808-497-3016 (c);
Ronald Fujiyoshi,1-808-959-9775(h),1-808-345-9688 (c);


What is the RMI Changed Circumstances Petition (CCP)?

During the negotiating of the Compact of Free Association in 1986, between the U.S. Government and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Government, the full extent of personal injury and property damages sustained by the U.S. nuclear testing program in the Marshall Islands was not fully known. Negotiators agreed to include a changed circumstances provision in the Compact that would allow the RMI government to petition the U.S. Congress for additional assistance if new and additional information about the U.S. testing program became known, and if this information was not and could not have been known during the negotiations of the Compact.

Since the Compact came into effect in 1986, there has been new and additional information about the personal injury and property damages resulting from the U.S. nuclear weapons testing program that was not known by the negotiators of the Compact. The new information comes from U.S. government documents declassified by the Clinton Administration as part of its Openness Initiative that began in 1993, and from changes in scientific understanding about the health and radiation exposure.

The RMI Government in September 2000, submitted the Changed Circumstances Petition that requests Congress to: 1) Authorize and appropriate $26.9 million so that the Claims Tribunal can complete full payment of the personal injury awards made as of August 15, 2000; 2) Authorize and appropriate $386 million to satisfy the Claims Tribunal award to the Enewetak people; 3)Authorize and appropriate $50 million in initial capital costs to build and supply the infrastructure necessary to provide adequate primary and secondary medical care to the populations exposed to radiation from the U.S. Weapons Testing Program; 4) Authorize and appropriate $45 million each year for 50 years for a 177 Health Care Program to provide health care for those individuals recognized by the U.S. as having been exposed to high levels of radiation during or after the testing program, including those who were downwind for one or more test, and the awardees of personal injury claims from the Tribunal; 5) Extend the U.S. Department of Energy medical monitoring program for exposed populations to any group that can demonstrate high levels of radiation exposure to the U.S. Congress.

March 12, 2007


By M. Linda Jaramillo
Executive Minister
Justice and Witness Ministries United Church of Christ (UCC)

Each year in August, we acknowledge with regret the devastating impact of the atomic bombs that were dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We know that thousands of lives were lost or changed forever. Generations of Japanese citizens have experienced the aftermath of the chemicals that entered people's bodies and affected their health and environment for the rest of their lives. Most of us know about this.

This year marks the 53rd anniversary of the Bravo H-bomb test, conducted on March 1, 1954 on Bikini Atoll. Sixty-seven nuclear tests were carried out in the Marshall Islands from June 30, 1946 to August 18, 1958. These were not bombs to end a war, the justification for the devastation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the Marshall Islands, this was bomb testing! The bombs were intentionally dropped on the Marshall Islands by the U.S. Military. How many of us knew about this? If we did not know before, it is time that we know now.

The H-bombs tested were 1000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Dr. Neal Palafox of the University of Hawaii says that the radiation for this testing equaled 7,000 atomic bombs. The New York Times reported on April 30, 2001, "America's debt to this Country has its roots in the 66 nuclear tests conducted in the Marshall Islands. Their total yield was 128,000 kilotons, roughly the equivalent of 10 Hiroshima-sized weapons per week throughout the testing period (twelve years)." How many of us paid attention to that story?

The lives of thousands of residents of the Marshall Islands were changed forever. Survivors continue to suffer from the effects of radiation. Many of the survivors of the bomb testing have now passed away. Perhaps, the magnitude of the H-bomb testing was not known during those first tests in 1946. How could we not have known? We already knew the affects of the atomic disaster in Hiroshima and Nagasaki the year before.

Granted, the United States admitted its wrong doing and signed a Compact with the citizens of the Marshall Islands in 1986 agreeing to compensate the citizens for injuries and damages. As of August, 2000, some actual awards had been made for personal injuries. However, 712 of the awardees (42%) died without receiving their full compensation. The long-term health impact on the Marshallese people is still being discovered. Those who were down wind of the tests continue to suffer serious health consequences. The waters and lands are poisoned and the food supplies remain contaminated. Today, little attention is being given to this atrocity. Did you know?

Because of the resulting illnesses and environmental crisis, the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands submitted a Changed Circumstances Petition to the U.S. Congress on September 11, 2000. They are still waiting for a response almost seven years later. In fact, the Petition has not moved at all. How many of us know this?

It is time to tell everyone we know about this well kept secret. It is time for Congress to quit ignoring the appeals for help from survivors of the H-bomb testing. It is time to challenge Congress to respond to the Changed Circumstances Petition submitted by the Government of the Marshall Islands. Contact your Congressperson - tell him or her that you know about this and they need to do something about it, now.


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