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Does the Banaban Future depend on Confrontation or Reconciliation?

Now as we move towards the New Year 2009, should we Banabans question our future steps and decide if reconciliation is the way to move forward.

While our elders and all Banabans dream of finally seeking justice from the governments involved in destroying our homeland and exiling us to Rabi, it is about time we think smart rather than keep repeating the same old stories and methods in resolving our problems.

We have to come to the realisation that no one will repair our homeland but ourselves. We must take the initiative and in doing so call upon all the governments and parties involved in the destruction of our homeland to work with us in achieving our goal.

Only by holding hands and working together will the dreams of our Elders be fulfilled.

Long live the Banabans.

I look forward to hearing your ideas.

Kam na tekeraoi nte Kiritimati ao te Ririki ae Boou.

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Sorry but I am not aware of all those things but see that you all want go back to your home land which others have destroyed for their own greed and let you suffer far away on an island which is not your land, the land you reallu love.
There should be many people around the world sending letters to those governments and companies involved in this I will mean is a crime to humanity.
I am ashamed of living myself on an island far north in norway and have all I need and can at least feel at home.
It really is about time to revers those evil doings and give your home island back to you an give you the means in form of technical support, money and what ever is needed to restore your home island.
Anyone could tell me who is responsible for all that what has happened to your people? Please send me an e-mail.
Gunnar, thank you for your comments and heartfelt response. Let me brief you abit on this article as it seems new to you. The main reason for staging this discussion is that Banaba our homeland was mined away for phosphate from 1900 to 1979 almost 80 years of destruction, 20million tons of Banaba soil was taken away for fertilizer. The Company that mined Banaba was called the British Phosphate Commission which was owned by Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Even though we sue the British Government in their own High Court (hoping to get sympathy from them as Mother to the Coplonial Empire and foundation of Democracy) we lost the case and were sent home with nothing but with a pitance of a gratia from Her Majesty's Government. Now my question (discussion on this forum) 'should we CONFRONT these Governments again or RECONCILE with them this time inorder to have our homeland (Banaba) rehabilitated'. Here I brought up rehabilitation because it was and still is the dream of our elders that the future Banaban generation should have their IDENTITY and OUR IDENTITY IS BANABA and not any other country, island or land. Go to ( to learn more about Banaba. Happy New Year.
dear Ken Sigrah,
thank you a lot for your reply. Well it made me understand a lot more and be sure I do feel with you and your peoples. It is just a disgrace and I really can´t understand the british high court nor its verdict. I am quite sure of that you and your people should try again at least for to can go back to the land which belongs to you. But in the first place I would try to get the message out to the whole world and every car in the world should have a lable in its window "let my people return to Banaba" and naturally you web adress so the whole world could get known to that matter. Well I am sorry I do not have that kind of money to provide you with those labels but may be many others could fond you for your project. Then the international society will know about you an your natural desires and may be some will send you some money making you able to hire lawyers to help you to try your case again.
What a about the United Nations?
What about to send a letter to many countries`goverments and ask for help.
For Norway it will be:
Det Kongelige Utenriksdepartement
Utenriksminister Jonas Gahr Störe
P.O.Box 8114 Dep.
0032 OSLO
Just tell him about your matter and ask him for help.
Our secretary of state is a very fine man and I am sure you will get an answer and as Norway and Gt. Britain are friends it might be to some help for your case.Well it is simply to try and see what the result will be.
Naturally I cannot give you any guarantees, but it sure is worthwhile trying.
Sad to say but there are many very urgant matters on the agenda those days, not at least the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, but if you can wait a little while may be there will come an answer, I am allmost sure of that.
I agree with you that is a must to keep your identity and it surely is Banaba and nothing else.
Wishing you and all your peoples a happy new year and a return to Banaba.
When you will see where I am living go to
Sincerely yours
Dear Gunnar,
Once again it is good to hear from you. Of course the idea of going through another court case (any court case) maybe ideal but before we look into staging another case let us consider the factor of reality first. 1. do we have enough finance to go this far? 2.whom do we think will be a good enough Lawyer that will take our case against Britain,Australia and New Zealand? 3. If for eg. the UNO agree to take our case up against these Governments won't it be a conflict of interest to put charge on these countries while they are defending human kind against terrorism? 4. how much chance do we have if we stage a court case? These are just few questions that maybe worth looking at for now. Let us not forget too that we are NOT a State but a scattered community uder two Governments of Fiji and Kiribati. WE cannot approach the UNO unless Fiji Government or Kiribati Government supports and deliver our petition to the UNO. Well my friend let me tell you that Australia and New Zealand especially are two of the biggest aid contributors to these two Island Government. And Britain? That is out of the question if you know what I mean. Now tell me which one fo these Island Government will help us Fiji or Kiribati. If you have an answer ( or anyone that reads this article) then let me know so that we can share it. Good talking to you Gunnar and by the time we finish this conversation you will know alot about us Banabans so keep it coming while I will try and give answres if I can. There is a saying which says 'if you burn your finger once make sure you don't burn it a second time. why? Because it's just silly.' Yes we staged a court case once too. Cheers my friend and we'll catch up soon. I've got to go or my wife will be upset ,it' 6:30pm Oz time so bye for now.
I am a firm believer in fighting for what is rightfully ours, abeit in a more educational way. We have the people with the right qualifications and experience to take forward our plight, where that be in a court of law or on a 'battle field' because the modern day battle field is not limited now to blood and guts.

In order to reconcile, maybe it's better that the confrontation takes place first.

Surely there's more Banabans out there who share my view, but if not, than they should share their ideas??

Paul. Thanks for your input on this article and I'm sure there are lots of Banabans out there who would like to commend on this article and I fully support you in encouraging our members to have a say. The more ideas we come up with the better solutions to this subject will come out. I've more to say myself but I think I've said enough for the timebeing so let us open the doors to others to come. I will pick up on the way. Come on guys use your right as a Banaban Voice and speak up, we are listening. Cheers.
Ken, I think another important word and term that needs to come into your debates is:




1. an act of recognizing or the state of being recognized.
2. the identification of something as having been previously seen, heard, known, etc.
3. the perception of something as existing or true; realization.
4. the acknowledgment of something as valid or as entitled to consideration: the recognition of a claim.
5. the acknowledgment of achievement, service, merit, etc.
6. the expression of this in the form of some token of appreciation: This promotion constitutes our recognition of her exceptional ability.
7. formal acknowledgment conveying approval or sanction.
8. acknowledgment of right to be heard or given attention: The chairman refused recognition to any delegate until order could be restored.
9. International Law. an official act by which one state acknowledges the existence of another state or government, or of belligerency or insurgency.

As an Australian with 3 generations of my family actually involved in the mining of Banaba I think we (te I-Matang) have to call on our governments (also UK and NZ govts) to formally RECOGNIZE the Banabans contribution and sacrifice they gave to our nations. In Australia and New Zealand's case Banaban’s phosphate, over the last century assisted and enabled Aust and NZ especially to emerge as two of the riches farming nations due to subsidised phosphate.

Other than Nauru no other country has physically given so much to help our (two) nations become rich farming nations! As we all know Nauru ended up falling under Australian mandate, while Banaba who was under the same NAURU (MINING) AGREEMENT was swept aside by the British govt and denied independence and split between two Pacific nations of Kiribati and Fiji where Banaban identity is expected to be absorbed and sadly obliterated in coming generations.

In this new millennia all Banabans have the basic human right to uphold their identity as BANABANS. Now it is up to every Banaban, young and old to do everything in their power to uphold this right and overcome all the obstacles that have been put in your path over the past century and move forward as one. The time has come where Banabans can no longer expect justice to finally arrive but step forward and take the initiative and control of your own destiny, and in doing so call on Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Japan to assist you in your endeavours what every they may be: rehabilitation of the homeland, development of Rabi, sponsoring educational scholarships, work and employment schemes, whatever you decide – in RECOGNITION of the great contribution your ancestors gave and the price every Banaban has paid over the past 108 years.

These are the facts every Banaban needs to know and the one thing that none of these governments can deny:

• Australian farmers received 66% (or 13.2 million tons) of Banaba phosphate
• New Zealand farmers received 28% (or 5.6 million tons) of Banaba phosphate
• Great Britain received 4% or 800,000 tons of Banaba phosphate at 50% of the price paid by Europeans.
• Revenue from phosphate mining on Banaba relieved Britain of the financial responsibility for administering the Gilbert and Ellice Protectorate (later Colony).
• Banaban phosphate royalties were eventually distributed 85% to the Gilbert and Ellice Islands (now known as the Pacific nations of Kiribati and Tuvalu) and a small 15% to the Banabans.
• While the Japanese murdered 349 people on Banaba during WWII and physically removed the Banabans from their homeland, to which they were not able to freely to return until after the cessation of mining in 1980.

These governments need to ACKNOWLEDGE and RECOGNISE these facts so that we can all finally move on.

If this finally means RECONCILIATION or CONFRONTATION - you (Banabans) have every right to decide the outcome!
#414 | 01-Jan-09, 23:16:31, GMT +10 | Perplexed - BANABAN MESSAGE BOARD

Stacey and Ken

Happy, prosperous and fruitful 2009 !

If, in the final analysis, the desired option is confrontation, then it is absolutely essential for Banabans or those entrusted with appropriate terms of reference (say RCL with Ken & Stacey?)to carry out their wishes, to do a proper homework, to evaluate the methods and approaches used in the last battle, learning from that bitter historic experience, critically examine past mistakes, re-defining objectives, prepare and plan well for the coming expected and the unexpected, even if it takes years to put something together that is "waterproof and bulletproof."

The 'element of surprise' has been proved effective on many renowned confrontational occasions. Perhaps at some point in the developmental stages of the mission RCR (Recognition/ Confrontation/Reconciliation), these " issues purported to be sensitive to the Banabans" has to be discussed and debated within closed doors and not in an open forum.

Signed: Perplexed (NZ)
#415 | 02-Jan-09, 09:03:21, GMT +10 | Lovenotevol - BANBAN MESSAGE BOARD

Stacey !

Mighty congratulation for your article on "Recognition" that appeared in the Banaban Voice. Having read and re-read, I ran short of words to afford it its proper description which is, in my opinion, fair and at the same time reflect its true value.

Brainstorming, the following spring to mind ………….challenging, provoking, thorough, well - researched, well - defined, educational etc. etc (oops..ran out of words)

The coverage to educate and inform readers about your intentions and trend of thought has been done extremely well. Most importantly is the appropriateness of the word for the case in hand. I believe and of the faith that your facts and figures are a result of well researched exercise. They are as you said, undisputable and undeniable. (essence of proof?)

Recognition Agreement/s seem visible in the horizons. Where are all the Banaban Brains? Nice to learn that there is a possibility of the likes of David and Paulo and the rest trying to wear the Rabi Thinking Cap of RCL.

By the way Stacey, please allow me to express my admiration of your example, and that is your sacrifice and denying your own.

Lovenotevol (NZ)
Dear perplexed,
Thank you for your seasonal greetings and input to this forum. You have explained to me that for personal reasons you have to be anonymous but after reading your contributions on the Banaban notice board I have decided to move it to the Banaban Voice forum page where it belongs (I hope you don't mind).

Yes, I fully agree with you that there will be a time when this discussions should held behind close doors, I suggest that it should be after elections of our new Councillors. My reason (being part of yours) is that I don't want this forum page to become a political battle field too. As you know there are many reasons why we implement this forum page but top priority is the fact that this is where all our young and elderly members teach and learn from one another on how to think and speak out on an international platform inorder to build Banaban awareness.

Anyway, it is good to have people whom we have their support and good advice even though they are anonymous to us (which I don't encourage) , but anonymous for personal reasons yet I still invite you to join our group. Hope you enjoyed your Xmas and New Year. (tell me, are you and Lovenotevol aquainted?).
Good afternoon my countrymen ll over the web i would like to share with you my opinion and idea for us all in this new year. specially during this time of where the people of rabi are about to go on election for the new leaders who will lead them.
always every year there is alot of complains from the people, complaining about their leaders, specially when coming to end of councils time, people complain about bad things about their council whom they have elected most of the time they complain why these and why that.
but still nothing they get out of this. each year this happens
the only key and knowledge that we should put in mind is to not talk bad about someone whom you have elected to be your leader and stop being lazy get up and say to them "how can i be useful to my country leaders" and "what can i do for my country " but not crying out everytime for blessing
ill close with these saying that is being said by a Zen Master of art( shaolin kung fu)
" you cannot force the wind but you can open the window to let the wind flow in"
thank you
Good one Bob. You have just acknowledged one of our weaknesses and that is kabua kakakia ara tia kairiri iboni irouia ara koraki. This is our ongoing problem that we should as a community get rid of. Let us begin this new year with a new team of leaders whom we as a younger Banaban generation will support and not oppose(unless there is a good reason why we should). We must always remember that the longer we keep fighting among ourselves the less chance we'll get to fulfill our future dreams. 'What we really need is to bind togather with our leaders as a community and as one people to face what is coming ahead. Let me remind you that all obstacles ahead of us is not our Councillors problem alone but yours and mine too. As long as you are Banaban you are it. Let us take full resposibility of what we believe is our task with our leaders to fulfill.

'Not what your country can do for you but what can you do for your country'.

Thanks Bob and cheers.



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