MAJURO, 22 FEBRUARY 2021 (RMI GOVT) — On Wednesday, 17 February, Kili Bikini Ejit Senator/Member of the Parliament of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Vice Speaker Peterson JIbas convened a courtesy call with Arkansas State representative Megan Godfrey of District 89.
Vice Speaker Jibas acknowledged Representative Godfrey’s continued efforts in introducing legislations, specifically the Marshallese Law Enforcement Act Bill (HB 1342) and for working collaboratively with RMI Consul General Alik and other Marshallese community leaders in addressing issues affecting the Marshallese living in Arkansas.
The Vice Speaker stated his willingness to fully support efforts involving the betterment of the Marshallese citizens in the states. Vice Speaker Jibas plans to bring to his colleagues in Nitijela the attention to the Representative’s tireless efforts and dedication.
Vice Speaker Jibas also conveyed his humble appreciation to RMI Consul General Eldon Alik for his exceptional leadership as a respected representative based in Springdale Arkansas.
Rep. Godfrey shared a mutual gratitude to be a part of the meeting. She was honoured and excited for the opportunity to meet more Marshallese citizens, and for the support from Vice Speaker Jibasall.
Rep Godfrey also acknowledged Alik for bringing to attention, back in the year 2019, the issue of ineligibility of Marshallese citizens to serve in Law Enforcement.
Rep Godfrey acknowledged Gov. Asa Hutchison and the NWA community as a whole for the big support in bringing the bill. It was a great collaborative work, she said. RMI Consul General Alik felt that the result of the Bill HB 1342 was a learning experience for himself and the community.
He strongly believes that grassroot advocacy is much needed, and that Marshallese community organisations are a vital piece in awareness to the public, especially to educate those outside NWA and beyond of the unique relationship between the two countries.
Consul General emphasised the importance of the Bikinian story of longing for their ancestral home, as a way to create dialogue and awareness about Marshallese and their connections to their ancestral homes.
Director Sosylina K Maddison said as a cancer survivor, she strongly believes that the rise of cancer and diabetes in Marshall Islands today is directly affected by the nuclear testing dating back to the late 1940’s and 1950’s. She also mentioned March 7thof this year will mark the 75 years since her 167 ancestors were displaced from Bikini Atoll for nuclear testing.
Maddison agreed that more awareness and advocacy are needed to bring out these issues for public discussion.
The meeting highlighted the vitality and importance of the collaboration and the relationship between the State leaders and the community they represent, through education and awareness of the Marshall Islands Nuclear Legacy, and the unique relationship between the two countries….. PACNEWS

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