18 Jan 2012

French Polynesia leader adamant Paris return nuclear weapons test atolls

7:25 am on 18 January 2012

The French Polynesian president Oscar Temaru has called for street protests should France refuse to return the two atolls used for its nuclear weapons tests.

Mr Temaru made the call as one of the territory's senators, Richard Tuheiava, is to submit a proposed law in Paris seeking the atolls' return and a review of the compensation offered for the tests' impact.

His comment comes as the territorial assembly in Tahiti endorsed the senator's initiative with 30 of the 57 votes.

He says if France refuses to give back what belongs to the Polynesians, people should close their homes and the administration to take to the streets in protest.

Mr Temaru says Paris should be told that it render to Caesar the things that are Ceasar's.

The two atolls Moruroa and Fangataufa were ceded to France at no cost in 1964 to allow its military to begin testing its nuclear weapons.