31 August 2012

Birthday celebration for late Queen Lili'uokalani of Hawai'i

Onipa'a 2012 Flyer

Also see: 

Hawaiian Kingdom files protest and demand at United Nations

29 August 2012

New Caledonia Decolonization Discussed At MSG Meeting In Fiji

Discussions over independence to be reported to U.N.

By Repeka Nasiko
Fiji Times
 The issue of the decolonization process of the Kanak community in New Caledonia was a major topic of discussion at the two-day Special Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) meeting in Nadi.

The meeting chaired by Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Saipora Mataikabara was the second in a series of meetings between the MSG members, to discuss the FLNKS (Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste) independence from the French government.

"I am optimistic that at the end of our meeting, our deliberations on decolonization issues will gain more prominence on the international arena as we all endeavor to assist our FLNKS colleagues and their people in their struggle for self emancipation," Ms Mataikabara said at the start of the talks.

"Our efforts in monitoring the progress on the Noumea Accord extend to a wider audience in sharing our findings with the United Nations."

Ms. Mataikabara also referred to a recent trip to New Caledonia of MSG heads including Fiji's Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, saying the meetings were conducted in a very transparent, open and frank manner.

The visit was undertaken to monitor and assess the implementation of the 1998 Noumea Accord in accordance with the decolonization processes approved by the people of New Caledonia through a referendum.

The Noumea Accord of 1998 promises to grant political power to New Caledonia and its original population, the Kanaks, until the territory decides whether to remain within the French Republic or become an independent State in a referendum to be held between 2014 and 2019. France will continue to control military and foreign affairs, immigration, police and currency until that time, and after, if the population chooses to remain French.

27 August 2012


R E P U B L I Q U E   F R A N Ç A I S E

R. Ariihau TUHEIAVA 
Polynésie Française

Les efforts croissants des partis politiques « autonomistes » du Fenua tendant à faire croire à l’opinion publique locale qu’une réinscription sur la liste des territoires non-autonomes de l’ONU équivaudrait à une accession à l’indépendance, sont vains.

La Polynésie française – alors appelée « Etablissements Français de
l’Océanie » (E.F.O.) jusqu’en 1957 – figurait bien sur la liste des territoires non-autonomes de l’ONU à l’initiative de la France. Le document officiel de l’ONU ci-joint l’atteste formellement.
La démarche politique de faire réinscrire la Polynésie française sur cette liste consiste à réparer une omission survenue à partir de 1947 lorsque le gouvernement français a décidé de cesser toute communication des renseignements officiels à l’ONU sur ses tous nouveaux « territoires français d’outremer », dont les E.F.O.
Cette réinscription à l’ONU ne se confond ni techniquement, ni juridiquement et encore moins politiquement avec l’indépendance, cette dernière n’étant que l’une des trois principales options offertes par la Charte des Nations Unies au terme d’un référendum d’auto-détermination.
Or, la Constitution française de 1958 ne prévoit absolument aucun mode opératoire précis sur l’organisation d’un référendum d’auto-détermination, elle ne présente donc pas les garanties offertes par la Charte des Nations Unies en la matière.
La réinscription de la Polynésie française sur la liste des territoires nonautonomes de l’ONU n’est donc absolument pas une démarche inamicale à l’égard du gouvernement français, ni de la France en général.

25 August 2012

Defining Ourselves: the Virgin Islands Story


The Presentation of the Territorial Song and Dress Finalists
 Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium
H. Lavity Stoutt Community College 
Paraquita Bay Campus

Virgin Islands family and friends I am indeed delighted to see all of you here this afternoon. I acknowledge the presence of:

Our Premier Hon. Dr D. Orlando Smith,
Deputy Governor Mrs. V. Inez Archibald
Members of the House of Assembly
Territorial Dress and Song Ad-Hoc Committee
 headed by cultural stalwart, Ms Eileene L. Parsons
The proud finalists of our competition
Senior public officers
Principals, teachers and children from our public and private schools
Virgin Islands musicians and designers
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen

Good Afternoon.

It would be remiss of me if I did not extend a special welcome to our Virgin Islands family members and friends that braved the seas this afternoon, from our sister islands, to join us on what I believe is an auspicious occasion.

I am pleased that in the program we have representation from residents on all of our islands. Importantly, we also have students from our public and private schools being a part of this occasion. It is indeed heartwarming to see so many faces and it tells me that you too understand the value of what we are trying to do here today. This is indeed a landmark moment for us in the Territory and we are all apart of Virgin Islands history.

We have long passed the years where there was less than 10,000 residents scattered across our islands. Today, we have almost quadrupled that amount and have welcomed persons not born in the Virgin Islands to share our home. While we will continue to welcome and attract individuals working for the development of our territory, as Virgin Islanders, today we take one more step forward in cementing our identity as Virgin Islanders, by this time around defining ourselves in song and dress.

While there is much room to debate who exactly is a Virgin Islander, amongst other things, my personal definition of this treasured title includes someone who is humble, friendly, respectful, someone who understands the meaning of community, someone that is not afraid of hard work, has an entrepreneurial spirit, and someone who has opportunities and take advantage of those opportunities in their homeland.

These are the traits that many of our forefathers possessed that propelled them to do great things and move our country forward. My involvement with the young people of the Virgin Islands, even before I became the Minister of Education and Culture, informed me that our young people feel somewhat disconnected, they are searching, and some even feel lost and unable to find their place in our community.

I fervently believe that this is due in part to the fact that the rich culture and heritage, and essentially what it means to be a Virgin Islander, has somewhat been lost upon this generation. Today is our opportunity to bring back our heritage and make it a part of our daily lives. I am convinced that by grounding our young people in their rich heritage will help them to navigate the many challenges and tribulations that will inevitably face as they mature.

You have heard me speak on many occasions about preparing our young people to adequately manage the responsibility that they will have one day to be leaders of industries in our Territory. While we reform our education system to ensure that our students can be competitive across the globe, in order to develop that well rounded adult, we must impart in our youth a strong sense of self, of who they are, where they came from and who they can be.

As a parent we naturally want a better life for our children. We want them to not have to struggle the way we did. Many of you in this room had to tend to cattle and sheep before you were able to walk a few miles to the church hall to attend school. I had to attend school and go to work in the afternoon to afford my school clothes and books. So for my children, I want them to not have to worry about those things. And those are very good intentions. But our success as parents and as a territory has outpaced our ability to pass on our heritage to our children.

With much of our success, we have unfortunately taken our heritage, put it in a jar, and put it up on a shelf; on display waiting to come out during August Festival and the tourist season. As a result there are a few generations of Virgin Islanders that are unable to connect with their purpose and birth-right to be productive and contributing members of our society.

Our students seem to know more about what’s going on with Nikki Minaj, Lil Wayne and Busy Signal, instead of knowing more about Elmore Stoutt, H.R. Penn, J.R. O’Neal and the many men and women that have built this country.

For me there is much pride to be identified with our struggles as African people and as Virgin Islanders. I look at the strength and endurance of our forefathers as they were left with no means of maintenance after slavery ended, but somehow they found their path and made a way for us to be here today.

We should all celebrate the history of our people. Virgin Islanders past were able to feed themselves and their families, built houses, boats and roads, sailed the seas, became entrepreneurs, educated our people, and instilled in us a reverence for prayer and the mercy that God continues to show us.

We have been blessed with the blood of leaders such as H. Lavity Stoutt, Cyril B. Romney, Terrance B. Lettsome, Ralph T. O’Neal, and Honourable Dr Orlando Smith. In them we have witnessed the spirit of the Virgin Islander, tenacious, creative, ambitious, entrepreneurial, true servants of the people and men and women willing to work to improve their own circumstance. That is the stock we hail from. For all of us, that acknowledgement should be both humbling and motivating, for us to do our part to continue this rich legacy.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is a heritage that we should all be very proud of. That is the heritage that I believe our young people desperately need to be acquainted with so they can become better grounded in life, find their purpose and their means of positively contributing to our society.

As Minister of Education and Culture and by your presence here this afternoon, I believe we are all saying that today, we are taking Virgin Islands heritage and culture off the shelf and I am positive that in short order, we will see the fruits of this initiative in the lives of all those that call these beautiful islands home.


Since last year the committee has been meeting to plan the competition that included special attention to ensure that we include all possible entries from Anegada to Jost Van Dyke. It is very important that as many citizens as possible had the opportunity to express their vision for a Territorial song and dress, and presented this afternoon will be those chosen by the committee. I would like to express my profound gratitude to all those persons who submitted their work for consideration.

I want to thank our Acting Director of Culture, Mrs Brenda Lettsome Tye for her outstanding work in helping us all realize this day.

Developing the guidelines for entries as well as judging the entries, we had an outstanding team of community stalwarts that managed the process with much care and understanding of the significance to our history as Virgin Islanders to finally complete the process of developing a territorial song and dress. Heading that committee was Mrs Eileene L. Parsons, supported by Dr Charles Wheatley, Honourable Delores Christopher, Mrs Shelia Brathwaite and Mrs Lettsome-Tye.

After today’s presentation of the finalist for the territorial song and dress, all entries will be taken to the House of Assembly at the next convenient sitting where a decision will be made by members of the House. Our Premier believes, and I fully agree, that this matter is too important to be decided by cabinet members only and should be decided by all the representatives of the people.

Efforts will be made to have the words of our Territorial song known to all residents. Once selected, this song will be sung at all official activities and I encourage private citizens and organizations to do the same at their functions.

At the start of the next school semester students in all of our schools, both public and private will be taught the Territorial song, which will be sung at their morning assembly. 

The appropriate variation of the Territorial dress will be used to outfit our national teams, starting with this year’s Olympic team headed to London in a few short weeks. Our Territorial dress will also be used for other ambassadorial or promotional opportunities.

To further instill a sense of pride and identity in our students, I have asked the Department of Education to spearhead the erecting of flagpoles at all schools, where students will be charged with raising and lowering the union jack, our territorial flag and the individual school’s flag which will be developed over next school year. I trust that this initiative will be in place by the start of the upcoming school year.


In closing I want to say thank you all for coming out and participating in the presentation of the finalists for the territorial song and dress competition. While today we come one step closer to realizing these two very important elements of the Virgin Islander’s identity, our territorial song and dress is an opportunity for all residents, born here or not to begin to grow a stronger sense of affinity to our islands. I call on us to unite as one people, working for the advancement of the Virgin Islands.

Despite where many of our residents hail from, I think we all can agree that we have much more in common than we have differences.   

Uniting around those commonalties and celebrating the splendor of the Virgin Islands we all call home is an opportunity to move this country forward.

Thank you.

24 August 2012

INFERNO…en el Ateneo Puertorriqueño Un nueva visión del INFIERNO de DANTE

Conservatorio de Arte Dramático
PO BOX 9021180 San Juan, Puerto Rico 00902-1180    

 INFERNO…en el Ateneo Puertorriqueño
Un nueva visión del INFIERNO de DANTE

INFERNO explora la cruda realidad social
puertorriqueña de hoy.

Este próximo 24 de agosto de 2012 en el Teatro del Ateneo.

El Ateneo Puertorriqueño y su Conservatorio de Arte Dramático llevarán a escena la obra INFERNO, del dramaturgo Roberto Ramos-Perea inspirada en el Infierno de La Divina Comedia del poeta florentino Dante Alighieri.

La obra subirá a escena desde el 24 de agosto de 2012, en funciones los viernes y sábados a las 8:30 y los domingos a las 4:00 pm.

Tomando como inspiración la magna obra italiana, Ramos-Perea aborda el mundo caótico del Puerto Rico del Siglo XXI. Se adentra en los infiernos privados de la conciencia de un poeta puertorriqueño, joven profesor universitario y nacionalista, llamado Dante Casanova, quien en compañía de la poeta Julia de Burgos -al igual que lo hizo Dante Alighieri con el poeta romano Virgilio-, atravesarán los distintos balcones del Infierno donde se concentra lo peor y más lamentable de nuestra sociedad.

Dante es llevado de la mano de Julia para conocer “los estragos del deseo”. Antes de unirse para siempre u olvidar definitivamente a su amada Beatriz, Dante será cómplice de la corrupción política y religiosa de nuestros tiempos, conocerá de cerca los bajos mundos de la droga, la lujuria y el asesinato, y verá frente a frente al suicidio y a la pornografía infantil, para encontrar finalmente la más abyecta de las faltas humanas al final de este siniestro lugar. 

“Acercarnos a ‘La Divina Comedia’, uno de los libros más importantes de toda la civilización, y traer sus temas al Puerto Rico de hoy, es un complejo y apasionante experimento en la afirmación de nuestra controvertida identidad. El discurrir filosófico, social y político que Dante realizó en su momento, tiene exactos paralelos con nuestra destrozada realidad de hoy, en la que concluimos, como él, que el infierno es un lugar que algunos se merecen”, señaló el director y dramaturgo de la obra, el Prof. Roberto Ramos-Perea.

INFERNO es protagonizada por los actores de la Compañía de Teatro del Ateneo Puertorriqueño entre los que se destacan Ricardo de Santiago como Dante, Melissa Reyes, como Julia de Burgos, Nelson Alvarado como “El Bichote” y Luis Javier López como “el Agente”  y la actuación especial del Dr. Edgar Quiles Ferrer como el “Senador”, entre una veintena de actores de los diferentes niveles de estudio del Conservatorio de Arte Dramático del Ateneo. La obra cuenta con la supervisión académica actoral del Dr. Quiles Ferrer y la Prof. Angela Mari, de la facultad del CADAP.

La obra despliega cantidad de sonido y multimedia realizado por Julián Ramos y las luces de Verónica Rubio en una producción del Conservatorio de Arte Dramatico del Ateneo. Inferno fue publicada por Publicaciones Gaviota y está a la venta en las librerías de Río Piedras. INFERNO forma parte del XXXV Festival de Teatro del Ateneo dedicado al Maestro Enrique Laguerre.

La obra contiene escenas no aptas para niños. Para mayor información debe llamar al (787) 977-2307 o al (787) 721-3877.