French Polynesia's ruling pro-independence party says significant construction work is being undertaken in secret on Moruroa atoll, which France used for 30 years to test its nuclear weapons.
The party likens the continued secrecy to an illness which can only worsen an already uneasy relationship.
"The Tavini Huiraatira says it has confirmation from various sources that work has been underway for several weeks to construct a bunkerlike building on the atoll, which - 17 years after the last test - remains a military no-go zone. It says one should not forget that France excised Moruroa and Fangataufa from French Polynesia in 1964 with a promise to return the atolls once the tests were over. It wonders if the work there now is linked to information that the atolls have been reclassified as French defence ministry property. The Tavini says French Polynesia is exasperated at the continued colonial attitude and people should be told what is being done on Moruroa."