11 Jan 2005

Marshall Islanders disappointed by Bush administration stance against more payments

11:16 am on 11 January 2005

There is disappointment in the Marshall Islands after the Bush administration told the US congress it should not give the Pacific nation any more nuclear test money.

The Marshall Islands has been wanting Congress to pay 3 billion US dollars in extra compensation for islanders affected by 67 nuclear weapons tests conducted there between 1946 and 1958.

But the Bush Administration says there is no legal basis for additional payments beyond the 150 million US dollar fund provided as part of a final settlement in 1983.

The liaison for the people of Bikini Atoll, where the largest ever US nuclear test took place in 1954, says the Bush administration's stance is disconcerting.

Jack Niedenthal says they are ignoring their overriding moral obligation...

"There doesn't seem to be any kind of indication that they feel morally obligated to help the people of the Marshall Islands. And when you look at that in light of what the United States government is now doing for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan who are actually shooting bullets at them and who are not friends like the people of the Marshall Islands are to the United States, it's really very troublesome for us."