06 May 2015


The American Samoa Government will tell the United Nations next month that although proposed constitutional amendments relating to American Samoa’s political status failed to get majority support last year, the resulting public discourse suggests that American Samoa is ready to take the next step of entertaining serious discussion about what its future political status should be.

This is relayed in a draft statement by Governor Lolo and the American Samoa Government that was distributed to directors during today’s cabinet meeting. 

The statenent will be presented at  seminar by the UN Committee on Decolonization in Nicaragua next month.

The governor has sent copies of the statement to the Fono, Judiciary and to the Secretary of the Interior.

Lolo said he wants to get feedback from directors, from the other branches of government and from the head of the Department of Interior, which administers affairs of the territory.

In the six-page draft statement, the governor says American Samoa’s union with the United Staes has resulted in substantial benefits to the people and government of American Samoa.

But despite many benefits, it is his firm belief that American Samoa’s current political status as an unincorporated and unorganized territory of the United States is neither sustainable nor economically secure.

Moreover he says the relationship lacks appropriate vestiges of self-governance as required by the UN Charter.

Lolo said there are significant shortfalls in American Samoa’s form of government. 

For example, it continues to exist by virtue of delegation of authority from the President of the United States to the US Department of Interior and then to American Samoa.

The Legislature cannot override a veto of a bill by the governor without the approval of the Secretary of the Interior and the American Samoa Constitution cannot be amended without the approval of Congress, despite Congress never having approved the territory’s Constitution to begin with.

Additionally the Secretary of the Interior continues to appoint the senior members of American Samoa’s Judiciary.

The governor also states that American Samoa is exposed to acts of Congress in ways not comtemplated because of American Samoa’s unique size, location, geography and economic circumstances.

He said the territory is further exposed to actions arising out of litigation in the US federal court that may contrive to have a judge in a remote courtroom issue a judgment that could impact the legal status of the people of American Samoa under the US Constititution.

According to the statement, American Samoa’s political status further exposes it to “bullying tactics of federal agencies”.

Lolo cites for example that the Federal Aviation Administration has prohibited ASG from further use of airport land without getting FAA approval as a condition of releasing federal funds which he says are rightfully due to American Samoa.

He also points to the decision by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council to open parts of the now closed 50-mile zone around American Samoa to longline vessels.

The governor said, “Until we are able to cast our political status in a concrete fashion, giving us concrete protections, the fact we live under a delegation of authority from Washington, D.C., will haunt us with the possibilities of action being taken from far away that impacts upon up in ways we cannot anticipate nor for which we can adequately plan.”


Attorney General, Cabinet discuss United Nations Decolonization Meeting

Some believe status quo is unsatisfactory

By Joyetter Feagaimaalii-Luamanu

Attorney General Talauega Eleasalo Ale says that many of our government and traditional leaders have come to a conclusion that American Samoa’s status quo is unsatisfactory and it’s not economically viable for the territory to remain unorganized and unincorporated because of the inability to have some control over our resources and over our land.

His comments were made at the Cabinet meeting yesterday in reference to a draft letter that was distributed to the cabinet members, which explains to the United Nations the relationship that American Samoa has with the United States.

Next month the AG accompanied by Secretary of Samoan Affairs Mauga Tasi Asuega will attend the United Nations Caribbean Regional Seminar on Implementation of the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism held in Managua, Nicaragua May 19 to 21, 2015.

Talauega explained that Chapter XI of the United Nations Charter calls on the colonial powers to help — what he characterized as former colonies — to become independent. He said the UN prepares a list of “former colonies” that are still today dependent on their “former colonial powers”.

“We are in that boat,” he said, “We are a territory of the U.S. and we rely on the U.S. for a lot of things, but we also do not have the independence that the U.N. deems each country to have.”



Samoa News

By Joyetter Feagaimaalii-Luamanu


American Samoa’s listing as a colony by the United Nations is an issue that the people and the government have over the years tried unsuccessfully to resolve, as the territory does not see itself as a “colony”. This is the issue being tackled in a draft letter to the United Nations Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism to be held in Managua, Nicaragua May 19 to 21, 2015.

Attorney General Talauega Eleasalo Ale accompanied by Secretary of Samoan Affairs Mauga Tasi Asuega will attend the UN seminar and will present the final document or letter from the Territory's governor concerning the issue of American Samoa’s political status — the UN currently lists it as a colony of the U.S.

In his presentation of the draft at the governor’s cabinet meeting this past Wednesday, Attorney General Talauega said the question that this poses is, how close — or far away — do we have to be to the United States to no longer be considered a colony of the U.S.?


Anguilla United Front wins overwhelming electoral victory


APRIL 22, 2015HELD







Valid Votes7934
Not Participated3066
Cast Votes:7,934
Valid Votes:7,934
Invalid Votes:None


Anguilla United Front6None
Anguilla United Movement0None
DOVE (Democracy, Opportunity, Vision & Empowerment)0None