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A move to erase all memory of the victims of nuclear testing?

by Moruroa e Tatou

Published 13 June 2014

(Translated into English by Peter Low for ACDN)

Papeete 13 June 2014

In former times - not so long ago, actually - it was mandatory to destroy anything that didn’t fit with the ideology of the those in power. All over the world there were burnings of books, art-works, religious objects and monument, as ordered by dictators keen to erase from the peoples’ memory even the very history that had made those peoples. Such determination to destroy is particularly virulent when its aim is bury all evidence that they formerly collaborated with past injustices.

Now instead of positive action for the country, Gaston Flosse and his cronies [Tahiti’s ruling pro-French faction] are trying a diversionary tactic : they are attacking the CEP (the Pacific Testing Centre). By their decision to remove the monument on the « Place du 2 Juillet 1966 », this government is committing a sacrilege against the unwilling sacrifices made by thousands of Polynesians who fell victim to France’s nuclear testing, by their families, and by all the other victims of atomic tests in the Pacific. Since the monument’s inauguration on July 2, 2006, numerous personalities, MPs, trade unionists, Polynesians of all generations, and foreign visitors - from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the USA, France and all our archipelagoes - have been coming to reflect at this spot that is now a widely-known symbol of nuclear folly.

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2 July 2012, Commemorating the victims

This is revisionism of an extreme kind : the motivations given by the Flosse government spokesman claim to pay homage to President Jacques Chirac as a « benefactor » of Polynesia. But few in Polynesia, France or the world have forgotten that Chirac made the irresponsible decision to resume testing in 1995, a decision that provoked a global outcry which once again tarnished France’s image and triggered a violent and destructive revolt by the Polynesians. Do Gaston Flosse and his cronies want to deafen us with talk of “benefits of nuclear colonization” in Polynesia?

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2 July 2012, Pahu Players

The monument on the « Place du 2 Juillet 1966 », is part of Polynesia’s historic heritage, it is not a little favour given to one group and then withdrawn «at the whim of the prince ». There are plenty of democrats in Polynesia who will find vigorous ways of opposing this infamous decision.

Moruroa e tatou

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