5 Apr 2012

Human Rights League accuses Tahiti's Temaru of inciting racial hatred

3:14 pm on 5 April 2012

The French Polynesian Human Rights League has accused the president, Oscar Temaru, of inciting racial hatred with his comments in the assembly last month.

In a statement, it says it condemns Mr Temaru's assertions that the territory's problems such as the decline of tourism are the result of a disease of being French.

The League says it is unacceptable to play down the remarks as they lead to violence.

Meanwhile, Mr Temaru's party has issued a statement in response to press criticism of his remarks.

The party says according to the dictionary racism is a theory of the hierarchy of races, pointing out that the colonial power doesn't recognise the Tahitians as the indigenous population.

It also says it is terrified at the ease with which the likes of Nicolas Sarkozy and Marine le Pen abuse language without there being a consequence.