17 Aug 2011

Land comment evokes rebuke for French Polynesia vice president

2:42 pm on 17 August 2011

An indigenous council in Tahiti has strongly criticised the French Polynesian vice-president, Antony Geros, over his televised remarks on land ownership and decolonisation.

In an open letter, the council says the government's plan to deal with indigenous land amounts to expropriation in disguise.

It says Mr Geros appears to be ignorant about Tahiti's history, adding that no land belongs to France, the territorial government or the communes.

The letter says the treaties signed during the islands' colonisation by France unambiguously state that the land belonging to the Queen and the people remains sacred.

It adds that none of the treaties has been abrogated.

The letter says Mr Geros is misleading the public by saying that the land issue can only be solved once the territory is reinscribed on the UN decolonisation list.