14 Jun 2006

Independence unlikely option for American Samoa

1:13 pm on 14 June 2006

A commission which is set up to review American Samoa's political status says it does not see independence as a practical option at this time.

The Political Status Study commission is conducting the first full review of American Samoa's constitution and its political future since 1969.

The commission's chief executive, Foufou Sunia, says they're going to hold consultations with various government department heads, and review how the territory's constitution relates to the US Federal constitution.

Mr Sunia says the commission will also study the political status of a number of other U.S. territories.

"the Commonwealth status - that exists over in Puerto Rico and the Northern Marianas and in Guam and the Virgin Islands - and then the free association that the former trust territories - like Palau - and then we would also like to look at the new efforts by the people of Hawaii to start a a Hawaiian nation within the state of Hawaii - plus our own."

Foufou Sunia says public forums for American Samoans living in Los Angeles, San Franciso, and Honolulu will also be held.