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I would like to encourage all our BV members wherever you may reside to please forward the Chairman's Plea to all your friends, family and especially organizations etc you may be involved with.
The direct link to the Chairman's letter is: http://banabanvoice.ning.com/profiles/blogs/plea-from-rabi-chairman-to
We need to support our Chairman NOW and use the power of the internet to spread his message to everyone that will listen.
We all have a responsibility to not sit back any longer but to stand with our Chairman and fully support his efforts in trying to reach the governments involved in Banaban history. There are also other supporting documents on the main Banaban website at: www.banaban.com that can provide the facts behind the Chairman's words.
So while we may be focused on helping our devastated island of Rabi, and yes we need to keep the FUNDRAISING efforts going for the longer term to keep our people from being FORGOTTEN, we also need to now stand up and ASK these governments concerned what they are going to do to assist the Banabans in the longer term.
We already know that the Banabans are one of the poorest communities in Fiji, and under the United Nations charter these governments have a responsibly to:
We know that the focus in now on global warming, rising sea-levels and the future resettlement of the Pacific Islands most at risk especially Kiribati and Tuvalu. These people will be known in the future years to come as the ENVIRONMENTAL REFUGEES. While millions was poured into the recent Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, these governments need to address one of the first ENVIRONMENTAL REFUGEES - THE BANABANS. Sadly the reasons for the Banabans is totally man made by United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand governments to mine away the Island for phosphate to enrich their farming soils, and in UK's case to line the countries coffers. The Japanese during World War II are physically responsible for moving the population on mass and murder of the community on a grand scale.
So it is essential to address the mistakes make in the displacement and resettlement of the Banabans to a foreign land and what Banabans regard as their exile to Rabi. So many mistakes were made and have never been addressed. So many scholars are looking at the Banabans as the ‘model’ for the new wave of Environmental Refugees; we need these governments to not only learn from their mistakes but fully address and correct the Banaban situation first, before moving on to mass removals of whole populations in coming years.
As our Chairman stated, ‘Our life was a simple one then, it should have remained so, but you have made it complicated, please come and help us unwind the complexities we face today...’
Abara Banaba - Banaba our homeland
26 March 2010