19 Jul 2006

France admonishes Temaru about independence comments

3:17 pm on 19 July 2006

The French high commissioner in French Polynesia has taken exception to recent comments made by the territory's president, Oscar Temaru, about the right to self-determination.

In a statement, Anne Boquet has described the comments as unfriendly.

This comes after Mr Temaru used his opening address to an international youth festival in Papeete to call for the gathering to debate the self-determination of the indigenous Maohi people.

He had also pointed out that he couldn't accept a French supreme court ruling which bans the use of Tahitian in the territorial assembly.

The speech prompted the French high commission delegates to walk out of the conference.

In her statement, the high commissioner says the French president has confirmed that nobody contests the right of the people to self-determination.

However, there has been no vote on the issue.

France is against French Polynesia being re-inscribed on the UN list of territories to be decolonised.