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King Pomare celebration decried by relatives

PAPEÉTE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, May 29, 2009) – Joinville Pomare, a self-proclaimed "Royal Family" descendant, now wants to be called King Pomare XI. A formal ceremony took place for this change of name Thursday in Tahiti.

Around 50 persons attended the event in the gardens of the "Royal Tahitian" hotel, on Tahiti's east coast.

"The entire Pacific is ruled by kings. Republics do no exist in the Pacific islands. This has been invented by Western Europeans", Joinville Pomare said.

Pomare plans a formal enthronement in Tahiti with Royal families from other Pacific islands September 9, 2009.

He says France should respect the treaties signed with his ancestors in 1880.

But not every Pomare family members agree with the idea of Joinville Pomare becoming King Pomare XI.

His brother, Wilfred Pomare, said this ceremony was a "masquerade" and that Joinville Pomare is an adopted child. Princess Yvannah Pomare also criticized the event.

"It is nothing but a small family feud", Joinville Pomare said.

He added that he will still be fighting to make sure that Tahitians could keep their land.

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