9 Dec 2008

French Polynesian test veterans alarmed at exclusion

2:25 pm on 9 December 2008

French Polynesia's nuclear test veterans' group, Mururoa o Tatou, says it wants to join discussions on a French law to recognise a link between nuclear tests and illness.

France had maintained that its nuclear weapons tests were safe, but it has recently proposed a law to admit a link between the nuclear fallout and cancer.

There'll be a meeting in Paris from December 19th to 22nd to discuss the law, but Mururoa o Tatou hasn't been invited.

Its head, Roland Oldham, says that's upsetting, particularly given that the French nuclear workers organisation, AVEN, will join the talks.

"It's a discrimination. The nuclear tests happened here in our country and they decide amongst themselves and not having the view of the organisation that represents the victims. It's just a colonial attitude that keeps going on. We want to be there, we want our voice to be heard."

Roland Oldham says he has written to the French Defence Minister asking to be included in the talks.