50 Years of Eastern Isles: Slokais’s only indigenous majority province.

Eastern Isles was created 50 years ago Tuesday as the 24th province of Slokais Islands. In the aftermath of the Great War, the issue of tribal rights rose to nationwide status. Indigenous groups suffered significantly at the hands of the Costa regime, with the speaking and practice of tribal practices being made illegal and youth being discouraged from speaking their traditional languages. Tribal activists such as Lin Sheng-Isa of the San-Dep people pushed for a province primarily for tribal people. Due to the pressure of the centrist and regionalist National Unity Platform that excluded the Eastern Isles Party and their success in the then governing Congress of the Constitution pressure at the federal level led to East Xiang Province holding a Referendum in 1972 in the area that would become Eastern Isles.

Despite, the Eastern Isles being a recent development in political history as early as the 1820s the region was politically organized as various tribal kingdoms under the Dominion of the Isles of the East. However, by 1840 these tribal kingdoms had lost political authority and the Dominion was absorbed into the Sanctarian Dominion of the Slokais Islands. Following, independence in 1892 a group of tribal politicians living on Saroah Island began to push for the surrounding island to be given autonomous status. Eventually, the Republic of Eastern Isles was declared in 1895, however, the new Republic was short-lived as the East Xiang Provincial Guard invaded Hua-Qisa with 10,000 troops just two months after independence. A short-lived battle ensued as the Provincial Guard forced their way into the Parliament Building despite armed resistance from the loosely organized Republican Guard.

The referendum passed with 60.5% voting YES with a majority of NO votes coming from San Valentino Island, a mostly Blancos farming community that had closer ties with mainland East Xiang. In March of 1973, a Provincial Governor was appointed who oversaw the first Parliament of the Eastern Isles. John Pao-Lin was a community leader picked for the Parliament. “We felt we were starting a new country, everything from services to the design of postal stamps was debated in detail”. A significant barrier to provincehood was the logistics of maintaining such a large province considering services would be centralized in Hua-Qisa, hundreds of miles from some parts of the province. “Another big issue, that I advocated being solved was that of military bases, they had been illegally testing weapons even after the end of the Great War”. In the end, Eastern Isles was declared the 24th Province of Slokais Islands on December 12th after being ratified by a nearly unanimous vote by Parliament.

To this day, Eastern Isles faces the greatest income inequality of any province, as John described it from his humble ranch in rural Green Island “We welcomed a new form of colonization by giving massive tax breaks and leniency to large tourism companies”. Today, 78% of Green Island is under private control either under Fort Herrea Miltary Base and its surrounding private communities and golf courses or under the private ownership of billionaire, Robert Chang.

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