TEMURA CALLS TAHITI AUTONOMY DAY, ‘MOURNING DAY’

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25-year anniversary celebrated on June 29

PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, June 19,2009) – Pro-autonomy parties will celebrate Autonomy day on June 29, but Oscar Temaru's pro-independence Tavini huiraatira claims this date should be a "mourning day".

Pro-autonomy parties announced they will once again celebrate Autonomy day on June 29 in Papeete.

A ceremony will be held at the "Pont de l'Est", a rotary on the north side of Papeete with a monument in honor of French Polynesia's internal autonomy relationship with France.

All major pro-autonomy leaders are scheduled to participate, including opposition leader Gaston Flosse and members of his Tahoeraa huiraatira party.

June 29 is the date in 1984 when French Polynesia's organic law approved by the French Parliament took effect, giving the overseas community, formerly known as a territory, greater internal autonomy while remaining part of the French Republic.

But for Oscar Temaru's Tavini huiraatira, June 29 is a "mourning day."

Tavini huiraatira members note that June 29 is the date in 1880 when Tahiti's King Pomare V gave France right of sovereignty of his dependencies.

Tavini members do not plan to attend the ceremony in Papeete. But they invited other parties at their own ceremony, held each year, on a Faa'a stele erected "in memory of Maohi people who died fighting for their sovereignty."

Tavini vice-president Antony Géros said the autonomy-independence debate is however not an issue. "What we wish is full autonomy", Géros added.

He claimed that France had lost a part of its economic independence to the European Union.

Tahitipresse: www.tahitipresse.pf

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