Protest in American Samoa over donations from Indonesia
An American Samoan has protested against the government for accepting donations from Indonesia.
An American Samoan has used this year's Flag Day celebrations to protest against the territorial government affiliating with Indonesia.
The government in Jakarta donated $US300,000 towards the construction of the Pago Pago Youth Centre.
Valerie Adams and her seven-year-old daughter held up a sign saying "Free West Papua".
Julie Cleaver spoke to our American Samoa correspondent Monica Miller to find out more.
MONICA MILLER: Indonesia not only gave money but they also offered some scholarships, and I believe that there were members of the police force that did go to Jakarta and attended Homeland Security training. There was also a high level delegation from American Samoa that travelled to Indonesia as guests of the Indonesian government.
JULIE CLEAVER: What do you think the Indonesian government is trying to do by affiliating with American Samoa?
MM: Talking to one of the people that did come, this was a secretary level, council level person and also getting the feedback from the Chamber of Commerce, there was never any political discussion at all. It was more, from American Samoa's point of view, at least with the people that were involved in some of the meetings that I covered, that they were just looking at investors from anywhere, and that's how American Samoa viewed Indonesia.
JC: So what are American Samoan attitudes? Because I saw that there was a protest at the flag day.
MM: The attitudes? Well there was one woman and a couple of her children who were displaying signs at the flag day ceremony - 116 years of American Samoa's association with the United States on Monday. The lady, Valerie Adams, she's questioning the motives of the Indonesian government to give American Samoa this grant when American Samoa has grants from the US government. But I ask her 'don't you think your beef is with the American Samoan government?'. And she said 'well yes, but we also needed to make a stand and let the Indonesian Ambassador to the United States see that we're concerned about this'. So it was her and her two children, one of them seven years-old. I ask if she thinks the average American Samoan cares because there's very little information about West Papua and the struggle that West Papua is facing in American Samoa. She said that she hopes that people will pay attention and start to find out. She's also gone on Facebook and wrote lengthy pieces about what she thinks and yeah, she's basically taking a stand. She's one of the people that also demonstrated against the legislator when it tried to push through increases, salary increases for law makers at a time when you know we had so many other pressing issues.
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