We do want to go back to Pagan


This is a response to a Mr. Jim Brooks, who responded on Facebook regarding the Los Angeles Times article about Pagan. Mr. Brooks wrote: “How can the island of Pagan oppose it? No one lives there.” Here was my response:

Dear Mr. Brooks: I hope you read this. Thank you for this opportunity to update you and share these accurate information about Pagan. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Pagan or how familiar you are with my childhood island home, but please allow me to just share these few thoughts with you.

I know from personal knowledge that members of families who have deep-rooted ties to Pagan have never completely left the Island. Some of these people I am talking about are my own nieces and nephews and their parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. They still live there and come back and forth to Saipan. This is nothing unusual. Our folks from Rota and Tinian do the same thing—where they split their time living on their respective home islands and have a home here on Saipan as well.

The former residents want to return home to Pagan to resettle there. How do I know this? Because in 1998, the former residents voted me as president of an organization called United Northern Islanders Association, formed to assist them to return home to ae you weren’t at home at the time someone else tried to claim your home and property, despite years of efforts to return home, does not mean that you have no right to speak up against what the military wants to do or has done to your home and property—does it? Just try for a moment—no matter how far-fetched or ridiculous you may think this scenario may be—to place yourself in our shoes. Now, how does that feel?

Please help us save our inhabited island homes of Pagan and Tinian from destruction. God bless you and your family.

Cinta M. Kaipat
Former and future resident of Pagan

Jun Dayao Dayao
This post is published under the Contributing Author. He/she does not normally work for Saipan Tribune but contributes for a specific topic or series.

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