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The Ultimate Wreck Diving Excursions

Progress Towards Independence



Once designated as a district under the League of Nations Trust Territory established in 1947 under the administration of the United States, Truk was one of four new states formed with the implementation of a Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) in 1979. Truk, now known as Chuuk State, Pohnpei (ex-"Ponape"), Yap, and Kosrae (ex-"Kusaie") are the newly formed federations under the constitution of the FSM. Following the convening of the new congress, elections, and the enactment of laws for these new nations, the United States established a transitional period (1979-1986) whereby the transfer of governmental functions to the FSM government was facilitated.

On October 1, 1982, these states signed a Compact of Free Association with the United States as a "vehicle to secure a responsible level of assistance, financial and otherwise, that would enable the continuation of FSM's progress economically, ensure the solidification of stable democratic government and provide for the maintenance of the United States' essential security interests in the Region." In its determination to exist as a sovereign state with non-limited self-government restrictions within the international ommunity, the FSM has since attained full diplomatic relations with the US (1989) and secured membership in the United Nations in September 1991. Beginning in November 1996, the FSM entered into the final five-year term of the Compact's package of financial assistance. Funding levels under the Compact had begun in 1986 at $60 million per year and were lowered in 1991 to $51 million; they will continue at a decreased rate of $40 million annually from 1996 to 2001.

Other US federal programs and technical assistance add to the Compact totals, currently at a level of over $50 million annually. Locally generated private sector revenues in the FSM have increased substantially and have resulted in a better standard of living based on infrastructure development, services, and sales of consumer goods. This progress will not fulfill all the necessary self-sufficiency objectives as this economic activity is largely dependent upon continued outside financial assistance. Though much has been accomplished, further developmental progress in other areas is needed to allow the people to be able to provide for themselves and their future generations on a self-sufficient basis.

In addition to the change of names from "Truk" to "Chuuk State," new names have been given to Moen Island (Weno), Dublon (Tonoas), Eten (Etten) and others. The author's view on modern day name usage seems to agree with most people; when referring to the island's World War II history, its ships and aircraft wrecks, and diving in particular, the names will always be associated with "Truk" or "Truk Lagoon." Otherwise, all references to correspondence, destination travel, island descriptions, government entities, geography, and etc. should be used with the name "Chuuk State." Population totals have reached nearly 40,000 for inhabitants of islands within the lagoon; when considering the outlying atolls and islands including the Mortlocks, Halls, and Western Island groups, the total population reaches nearly 53,000. Weno now has a population of nearly 15,000




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