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France making it hard for Polynesian nuclear victims

Nuclear payments blow to French Polynesia

By Geraldine Coutts for Radio Australia

ABC News  Oct 15, 2009

Activists fighting for victims of French nuclear testing in the Pacific are stunned by conditions imposed in a compensation bill by France’s upper house………….Roland Oldham, president of the Mororua e Tatou Association representing French Pacific nuclear test workers, told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat the actions of the French Senate reflected arrogance in metropolitan France towards its territories.

He said the Senate has imposed strict requirements on applicants to prove their case on various grounds.

“For our Polynesian people it’s going to be hard. A lot of our people won’t be part of compensation,” he said.

“A lot of us people don’t keep a document. We don’t have the same conception of things. So it’s going to be very difficult for them.”……….. He said the Senate had further rejected a bid by his organisation to be part of a compensation committee, which will now be made up of only people nominated by the French Ministry of Defence.

“It’s the same people that have done the nuclear testing in our place, in our island,” Mr Oldham said.

“They’ve been saying for many years that the tests are clean and today they’re going to decide about compensation on their own.”

Mr Oldham says the geographic zone from which claims would be considered has been greatly limited.

He says the views of Polynesians have not been taken into account.

“And finally, there’s only one person decides if the case is going to be taken into account, [if a victim] is going to have compensation or not – and that’s the Ministry of Defence,” he said….

October 16, 2009 - Posted by | France, indigenous issues, OCEANIA | , , , , , , , ,

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