Mechesil Belau held its 29th annual conference this week themed, “ Care for elderlies, Care of suffering of stress. Responsibilities and rights of women and men in our traditional heritage.”
The two-day conference brought speakers and presenters to cover a broad range of issues, from health to education, food security, agriculture programs, Palauan language, housing loans, public safety, manpower needs, traditional rules and practice, and more.
This year, not as many women attended as in previous years, but the interest in discussions remained high, with many people tuning into the radio and television feeds of the conference to listen to the presentations and question and answer sessions.
Discussions about traditional titles and practices are of great interest, especially with growing controversies over traditional titles affecting every Palauan on the island.
The event highlighted the traditional controversies and featured Ibedul James Littler, appointed by Bilung Gloria Salii. Meanwhile, Ibedul Alexander Merep is currently recognized by Ngarameketii (Koror HOTL) and the Palau Council of Chiefs, and the conflict kept some people away at risk of offending anyone.
As usual, the conference sought to have specific outcomes. Some of the recommendations include creating a traditional court that does not use non-Palauan judges, preventing foreigners from making copies of Palauan artifacts, having congress change the current Palauan written language back to its old form, and re-open land claims, among others.