This year is almost at an end and as with most years it’s had it’s ups and downs. One of the big ‘ups’ is that I had my first ever overseas holiday. Together with my family I visited Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.
I’ve been overseas a number of times in the past but it’s always been for work or for some other cause. This time it was all about enjoyment. That’s not to say that I haven’t enjoyed all my other trips but there’s something different about travelling purely for enjoyment and especially travelling with people you love.
Including my home country of Australia, I’ve actually been in 17 countries so far. I’ve been able to spend significant time in some countries with others only visited while in transit or for a very short time. The places I’ve been include Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, USA, Canada, India, Haiti, Dominican Republic, PNG, Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Africa, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Thailand, Myanmar and Hong Kong. You can see them all plotted out on the map below.
The Chamoru people of the island we know as Guam have waged a long struggle for an act of self-determination as a significant step in their struggle to protect their land and culture from the effects of militarisation.
Their movement for non-violent social change in their homeland is largely unknown here in Australia.
The island has served as a military base for many years and now plans are underway to increase the military presence amongst these peaceful people.
Guahan (the indigenous name for Guam) is considered to be an ideal base since it is about three hours flying time or two to three days by ship from Japan, Okinawa, Indonesia and the Philippines. Flying to China or North Korea from the West Coast of the United States takes 13 hours, from Guahan it takes four. A carrier group based at Guahan could reach Taiwan in two days.
Guahan is strategically located close to several of the worlds most important sea lanes, such as the Strait of Malacca, through which some 50% of the world’s oil passes each year.
Dr Lisa Natividad and Julian Aguon of Guam joined me during my morning programme on 98.5 Sonshine FM this morning to talk about the situation and what we can do about it. If you’d like to be more informed about the plight of the Chamoru people just click the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.
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