12 Apr 2011

Tahiti part calls for France to renew lease of Moruroa atoll

7:14 pm on 12 April 2011

French Polynesia's pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira Party says a new contract has to be set up for France's continued use of Moruroa atoll.

The party, which is led by the president, Oscar Temaru, says in 1964 a five-member commission in Tahiti allowed the French state to use the atoll for free so it could carry out its nuclear weapons tests.

It says despite the end of the tests 15 years ago, the atoll has not been returned and France continues its research on the atoll under the protection of the military.

In a statement, the party says this continued occupation makes it necessary to draw up a new lease at a rate appropriate for a small Pacific island people.

It adds that it has to take into account the profound effect the testing has had on the local way of life.

Amid fears of a possible collapse of Moruroa, the party says French Polynesians don't want assurances but the truth.