September 25, 2009 |
The Obama administration says at least six, and as many as eight, Chinese Muslims held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will soon leave their island prison for freedom on the island nation of Palau. Word of the transfer to the tiny Pacific Ocean country, planned for sometime after Oct. 1, came in a letter released Thursday from Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Kagan also confirmed that Palau had agreed to accept all but one of the 13 Chinese Muslims, or Uighurs, who remain at Guantanamo.
June 22, 2009 |
The police came to Aye Aye Thant's home late one night soon after the ruling Myanmar junta had declared her a dangerous political dissident. The officer was a family friend who came with a discreet warning: Thant and her cousin, a Buddhist monk, would soon be thrown into prison. So the pair fled their native land, paying $250 apiece, they say, to bribe immigration officials to let them slip out of the troubled military-ruled nation on a plane bound for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
June 17, 2009
Re "Uighurs: Trouble in paradise?" June 14 In your article about the Palau receiving Uighur prisoners from Guantanamo, you mentioned that the resident population of 20,000 receives about $20 million in aid from the U.S. annually, and a new aid package could exceed $200 million. That equates to $10,000 per resident of Palau. Coincidentally, under that new package, per person that would be about the same amount of money per member of my household that I am forced to pay the federal government in income taxes.
June 17, 2009 |
They carried Sgt. Jasper Obakrairur's body home Tuesday in a casket draped with an American flag for a service held inside a domed government complex modeled on the U.S. Capitol. Obakrairur wasn't American, but a 26-year-old native of this Pacific island nation. He joined the U.S. Army five years ago, inspired by a sense of duty and a plan for a better life. Known as Jazz by island friends, and as Sgt. O.B.
June 15, 2009 |
When asked by the United States to accept a group of hard-to-place Guantanamo inmates, Palauan President Johnson Toribiong mulled over the request as both a head of state and a criminal defense lawyer. The 62-year-old politician says he considered the plight of the 13 Chinese men as he had countless other defendants during two decades as one of this tiny Pacific island nation's top litigators. The men, ethnic Uighurs, had gotten a raw deal, he said, jailed for years without trial.
June 14, 2009 |
Sipping guava juice under cover from a steamy tropical downpour, Tommy Remengesau Jr. says he's always considered his Pacific island home a refuge from the troubles of the outside world. "While the rest of the planet was in conflict, waging its wars, we remained a little piece of paradise," the former Palauan president said as his pet fruit bat swayed upside down in a nearby cage. "Now, the world's headaches have come home to roost in Palau."