French Polynesia marks Autonomy Day

7:45 am on 30 June 2017

French Polynesia is marking today's Autonomy Day with festivities in Papeete which organisers regard as an opportunity to showcase the community and its activities.

Thousands of people are expected to join in a parade.

French Polynesia has been marking June the 29th as autonomy day for more than 30 years on behest of a former president Gaston Flosse.

The date was chosen because on that day in 1880 the Tahitian king signed a treaty with France which annexed the kingdom.

The pro-independence camp has traditionally marked the day as a day of mourning over the loss of independence.

The organisers of the festivities say they regret the sectarianism.

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