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Monday, August 21, 2006

Who Is Oscar Temaru?

According to TV1 News, yesterday's funeral of Maori Queen Dame Te Atarangikaahu was a attended by an important mourner.


French Polynesia President Oscar Temaru has been fighting to free Tahiti from the grip of French Polynesia. He says he came to pay respects to Dame Te Ata.

Radical Youth leader, Omar Hamed, writing in Just Focus reveals
how Temaru upset the French government at the recent Youth Festival in Tahiti.

Looking back on it now it seems bizarre, how Charmaine Clark, (Ngati Kahungunu), a researcher from the Tairawhiti Polytechnic in Gisborne and I got caught up in the middle of the struggle for self-determination in Tahiti.

It began on Monday morning at the opening ceremony when Oscar Temaru, leader of Tahiti’s biggest independence political party and French Polynesia’s coalition government, asked the festival "to consider the issue of independence and more specifically ‘the freedom of the Maohi [Tahitian] people’”.

He also said to the Festival in English, “Do you know that in our local Assembly it is prohibited to speak our language, the language of our land? Here [at the festival] we will speak our mother tongue. This is only one example of the colonial system that still exists in our land. We want to get rid of colonialism, racism and all these wrongs that exist everywhere in the world.” At that point, the French High Commissioner Office’s secretary-general walked out of the festival. The first shot of a new battle in an old war had been fired.


The latest issue of Australian Marxist-Leninist paper, Green Left Weekly also carries a long article on Temaru's fight with the French Government.

Since Oscar Temaru was elected president of Tahiti Nui (French Polynesia) in June 2004, he has infuriated the Pacific country’s colonial masters in Paris. The furore over Temaru’s July 28 leaking of a letter confirming that the French government has systematically covered up the link between its atmospheric nuclear tests in the Pacific and Tahiti’s high cancer rates is just the latest confrontation. It is Temaru’s unstinting support for Tahiti’s eventual independence that has Paris searching for ways to defeat him.

The French government has refused to accept Temaru’s shock 2004 victory over the unquestioningly pro-French Gaston Flosse, which abruptly ended his 20-year reign. However, Temaru’s new Union for Democracy (UPLD) coalition government, which included several parties that support autonomy” rather than full independence, did not call for a break with Paris. Rather, it called for taui (change).

However, while his coalition government took a cautious approach on the question of Tahiti’s ties to Paris, Temaru personally continued his campaign for eventual independence. In his capacity as leader of the pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira (Polynesian Liberation Front), rather than as French Polynesia’s president, in August 2004 Temaru demanded that Tahiti be reinscribed on the United Nation’s list of non-self-governing territories. Temaru also proposed that, following a period of autonomy, Tahiti’s people be allowed to vote in a referendum on independence — a process similar to that taking place in Kanaky (New Caledonia).


Temaru has been a stalwart of the Pacific "peace" and anti nuclear movements for decades. He has worked with several NZ "peace" and Maori activists and has many connections in this country.

One of Temaru's early political influences was the late New Caledonian Marxist, Jean-Marie Tjibaou, one time leader of the Kanak Socialist National Liberation Front. Temaru attended secondary school with Tjibaou in New Caledonia.

Temaru's UPLD is heavily supported by the French Socialist Party, with which it has an agreement of co-operation. However Temaru has friends in all sections of the French left. According to Green Left Weekly, in February 2005, all French left-wing parties, including the Socialist Party, the Communist Party, the Greens and the revolutionary Marxist Revolutionary Communist League (LCR) and Workers Struggle (LO) issued a joint statement in support of Temaru and the UPLD.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Cameron said...

Sounds like a good bloke. I would have voted for him if I lived over there.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Cameron
I'm thinking of setting up a dating service to match lonely socialists up with thirld world tyrants, Trotskyite demagogues, neo stalinist nymphettes etc.

How do you think it would go? Would you be a starter?

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the look of it Temaru is one of that species of communist that inspires an irrational anti-white racism under the pretences of 'nationalism' and 'independence'. Just like in South Africa, just like in Palaeostine...

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Cameron said...

How is Temaru a third world tyrant? I thought the French government would be considered the tyranical ones here, on a count of their nuclear testing and general screwing around in the affairs of Pacific nations.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Who called him a third world tyrant? was that a freudian Slip Cameron? What do you reckon on the dating service idea-"Marxist Match", "Love Behind the Barricades". What do you think?

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Cameron said...

Sounds good to me. Anything to meet more comrades and maybe get some loving because being a communist can be very lonely ;)

12:11 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Great Cameron, Ill see what I can do to help. Reds need luvvin' too.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Cameron said...

Cheers

4:35 PM  
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