11 Nov 2004

PCRC says France must act to end French Polynesian political crisis

4:47 pm on 11 November 2004

The Suva-based Pacific Concerns Resource Centre is appealing to France act immediately to end the more than month-long crisis in French Polynesia.

There are two rival governments both claiming to be in control in the territory, where strikes continue as a key court decision from France is awaited.

Peter Emberson, the PCRC spokesman, says France must also ask the Pacific Islands Forum to step in.

He says the Forum is doing nowhere near enough now, despite the fact French Polynesia has observer status at the Forum.

Without such action, Mr Emberson says the situation could deteriorate further, to the kind of violence experienced by New Caledonia in the late 1980s.

"Our concern is should the indigenous French Polynesians be suppressed any longer, I don't know what their tolerance level is. I think it's saddening and I think the French Government should step in immediately. The situation has carried on far too long."

Peter Emberson.