30 Jun 2008

Leader's gather in Faa'a to mark French Polynesia's autonomy day

11:14 am on 30 June 2008

French Polynesia's former president, Gaston Flosse, who created the territory's autonomy day, has accepted an invitation by the

pro-independence leader, Oscar Temaru, to mark the today in Mr Temaru's home town of Faa'a.

In recent times, Mr Temaru and his supporters commemorated on June 29th the Tahitians who resisted French colonisation.

Mr Flosse had created the public holiday to remember the day in 1880 when King Pomare V signed a declaration with France for it to be able to run the local government.

Mr Flosse's decision to go to Faa'a this year has prompted his party to issue a statement to say that he has not reneged on his stance for autonomy within France but is to further reconcile the French

Polynesian people with their history.

Last year, Mr Temaru used the occasion to call for a referendum on

independence from France.