In 2011-2012, Chuuk’s legislature created the, "Chuuk Future Political Status Commission' or "Chuuk Political Status Commission" (CFPSC/CPSC). The purpose of the commission is to, “review and recommend possible political status suitable for long term financial survival”. The reason for the creation of this committee is to prepare for the end of compact 2 funding, which is set to expire in 2023. It is important to note that although compact funding is set to end in 2023, it does not signify the end of the Compact of Free Association between the FSM and the USA. All other aspects of the compact will continue.
Shortly after its establishment, the CPSC agreed that “national independence” is the best option for Chuuk. Through their deliberations, the commission agreed that the state of Chuuk was simply not suited to continue its position as a member of a federation. To ensure economic survivability, Chuuk state needs to become, "the Republic of Chuuk", an independent nation.
Members of the Commission:
Northern Namoneas: Redly Killion; Johnny Meippen.
Southern Namonesa: Joe Suka; Sabino Asor.
Faichuk: Kachutosy Paulus; Pandinus Suzuki.
Mortlocks: Julio Marar; Epel Illon.
Northwest: Winiplat Bisalem; Masachiro Christlib.
Legislature reps: Senate President Mailo; House Speaker Oneisom.
Private Sector: Cindy Mori.
Community Rep: Pintas Kenneth.
Our subject, "Making Sense of an Independent Chuuk" will be a series of articles centered around newsletters, videos and other materials pertaining to the subject of "Chuuk Independence".
Part 1 of this series of articles will center around the commission's newsletter entitled: "Beyond the Compact". CPSC newsletter, March-May 2014.
- The newsletter starts off with, "Independence at Last: A New Republic of Chuuk?". The tone of the letter is quite clear, "Independence at Last" is suggestive of the commission's certainty that independence will pass. It also presents "independence" as a good thing. The newsletter can be interpreted as a material of propaganda.
- Why is the newsletter written in English. Who is the newsletter written for?
- There is mention of the Faichuuk movement to become the 5th state in the federation. What is the relevance of that movement with the separation of Chuuk from the federation? Faichuuk's goal was not to seek independence from the FSM, but independence from Chuuk state. During that movement, all of the delegates from Chuuk voted for Faichuuk to secede from Chuuk state. Many of those delegates are still in office today (video link explaining Faichuuk's wish to separate from Chuuk). Since the FSM national government was the only thing standing in the way of Faichuuk's goals, what's not to say that Faichuuk will not seek to secede from an independent Chuuk? It must be noted, that members of the Faichuuk movement are also heavily involved in the Chuuk independence movement.
- The goal of the commission is stated as, to "review and recommend possible political status suitable for long term financial survival". This includes examining, "alternative political status options for Chuuk State...". The report from the CFPSC that was submitted to the Chuuk state legislature is 5 pages long in total. 75 percent of the report, or 3.5 pages of it, is dedicated to independence, one page is for the title and introduction, leaving only half of a page to other political status options. According to the report, there were only 3 other options "reviewed": Status quo, commonwealth, statehood/territory. Each option was only given a one paragraph explanation of why it is not suitable. Within those three paragraphs, there are no statistics or sources to support their claims that those options are not suitable. It would appear that the commission went into their review already certain that they were going to choose independence.
- There is no plan or outline of how Chuuk state will achieve economic self-sufficiency when independent. However, the FSM has an action plan already in place. Members of the commission have stated that the idea for Chuuk state, as an independent nation, is to use the plan already created by the FSM government (see video link to listen to statement). The argument against that is the plan was created for the FSM, not for a specific state. Where will the Republic of Chuuk (ROC) get the funds to implement such a plan? And if there are any hiccups in the implementation of the plan, how will the ROC adjust or rewrite the plan. Does Chuuk state have an economist or a planning committee to oversee such a plan?
- It is stated in the newsletter, "...our people [are] still subservient to others, still confined by other people's ideas of what is good for us... [we are still] at the political mercy of outside governments... we have been deprived of our rights to progress and nationhood". However, commission representatives, and leaders from Chuuk have openly stated that they intend to seek a new compact with the United States, as an "independent" nation. The independence that the commission speaks of, is an independence from the FSM. Chuuk leaders will still seek to be confined, subservient, and at the mercy of the US government, but not the FSM national government.