Archive for October, 2009

October 29, 2009

Chosm Er A Itekokongei (Tree of Yes)

By Santy Asanuma

This is a skill even considered as a gift of a certain lineage in Palau for securing a yes or positive answer from the other party they are pursuing. Mostly it was used in getting approvals for romantic proposals. After short research only the very old and few members of the Palau Society of Historians still recall this adage which was usually used for good cause and luck. I heard it as a young boy and it has always stayed in my memory. The fact that this ancient saying, “Chosm Er A Itekokongei,” implied that all will be okay and in our favor made it very appealing to me. This was a valuable gift once a upon a time because Palauans are known to be unimpressionable (ng diak el beot el bo le mechas a rengrir) and not easily convinced to follow other people.

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October 27, 2009

Weighing the competing priorities

By Kambes Kesolei

The inauguration of the new government on January 15 was marked by an unusual episode that was brief in which others who witnessed it jokingly said it portends of what is to come of the 8th government of the republic. It happened right after the oath-taking, photo-op, and lunch procession. A packed cloud of heavy rain showers started to form unexpectedly with a powerful gale that disjointed the tents, tore the roof cover, overturned chairs and left the center stage where the elected leaders sat moments before look like a war path.

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October 26, 2009

Festival of Dangerous Ideas (US vs. Compact Islands)

By Santy Asanuma

Palauans do not take ideas well. Ideas as simple as one may think are what fuel life to move forward.  Without ideas life as we know it may not have any sense or direction to it. A “mechas” once told me her assessment of our modern government system, “don’t underestimate the power of a stupid person because he/she can vote for leaders of a country.” This statement means many things to me but one meaning is that ideas can come from anyone regardless of how educated or not. Today a priest in church said, “if you want to be first you have to serve others…you have to lower yourself.” Not an easy idea to follow though.

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October 24, 2009

Open Comment 001

For a trial period, feel free to post your thoughts in the comment section below. Comments posted will be held in moderation until approved by the blog Administrator.

If  Open Comment is successful it will be made regular feature of the blog or could lead to development of a sister blog with open comments.

You can also email me with your comments and suggestions – alekokau@gmail(dot)com.

Kambes Kesolei

Administrator, A Le Ko Kau Forum

October 21, 2009

Taxpayers’ funded junket to Philippines

By Kambes Kesolei

What are the commitments as a representative of the people?

The data provided by the 2009 Household Income Survey raise questions of those who ought to be the ones most aware of the plight of their own people and whether they are doing enough to improve the lives of their citizens.

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October 14, 2009

Palau’s quality of life declining

By Kambes Kesolei

What was lost among the good news during the media briefing on September 30 at the old Olbiil Era Kelulau, was the disturbing piece of information from Minister of Justice John C. Gibbons who reported that of all the theft cases recorded by the police in a recent one week period in September, 80 percent involve stolen food items.

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October 12, 2009

Gabriela Lives On for Freedom

By Santy Asanuma

In 1996 I saw the South Pacific “down under” as it commonly referred to for the first time. Being identified as a community activist by raising social consciousness in my “Whatanow” Column, I was privileged to be invited to attend a CEPAC CCJD conference in Melbourne, Australia to address regional issues on social injustice. As a conference for Catholic bishops of the Pacific and Asia, the main attendants were bishops. This was holier experience than I will ever come close to in this lifetime. While dinning with the bishops one night, we were served fried ice cream an unlikely combination and a first experience for most of us.

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October 7, 2009

Ratcheting up public discussions

By Kambes Kesolei

While we place so much blame – and rightfully so – on our elected leaders on the need for a more effective lawmaking body, especially when Palau suffers from the lack of a coherent and convincing set of public policies with which to tackle the many issues confronting our republic today, and perhaps it is unfair to point fingers toward only Ngerulmud, but the blame may also lies elsewhere as in the intellectual class of the society.  Anyone who is interested in the thinking and slicing further into issues beyond where others are satisfied can be considered members of this class. Raising the bar in the thinking area is the work of intellectuals.

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October 5, 2009

Bulekngii A Meuiko El Redil

By Santy Asanuma

Because of our culture, Palauans tend to be concrete thinkers meaning that they only think of what they can see. There are not much to say about blindness or special recognition of those who lost their sight in our legends and stories. This is greatly assigned to the fact that Palauan knowledge seldom has names or references to abstract things or ideas. The Palauan language is very pictorial which requires physical description to be understood. This is the main reason why most Palauan attorneys, if not all of them, prefer to work with the English language in court because it has names for technical ideas or things.

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