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Global Hibakusha

Global Hibakusha

Vito Maamaatua
Polynesian Liberation Front
1998 World Conference against A & H Bombs, Hiroshima

We are taking part in the World Conference, representing 45% of the Maohi people.

This figure is the rate of votes obtained in the last election in our country by the Tavini Huiraatira (Polynesian Liberation Front), the organization which we belong to.  We would like to extend greetings to all the delegations present here, and thank?you for your tenacity in your struggle and the achievements gained so far by overcoming many difficulties.

As you all know, in 1996, the President of the French Republic made a wise decision to stop nuclear tests on the land of our ancestors and for the future of our children.

Alas, 193 tests of mass murder were conducted and people of good will like us were forced to fight against them for so many years.

Our struggle is not over because the French government is trying to make us believe  the absurdity that French tests are not dangerous both for the environment and human beings.  We learned of their attempt in the latest report of the scientists who gathered under the authority of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), although we haven't had any access to the report.

After the nuclear tests were stopped, the test sites in Moruroa and Fangataufa were closed down without the Polynesian people being informed where the materials used during the tests would be disposed of.

International pressure must be put on France so that it will realize that we shall never be deceived so easily.

We have observed an increase in the incidence of cancers but we have not had reliable medical data which can prove causation was the nuclear tests.  The French government has been implementing an obscurantist policy for our people.  The French government is being helped by a large number of Polynesian collaborators who enriched themselves, such as Gaston Flosse, the president of the Territorial Government and minister of tourism.

The way we have to go together to get nuclear weapons abolished is still long and we seem to face many obstructions en route.  Even in Polynesia, distant from India and Pakistan, what happened in these countries was reported.

On September 29, 1998, a judgment is to be handed down by colonial justice on the Polynesian activists who are fighting for independence and against nuclear weapons based on non-violence.  They were charged with a revolt against the resumption of French nuclear tests in Polynesia on September 5, 1995.

The real question we must ask ourselves is who will judge the French government and other governments for the criminal acts of terrorism they have committed against us and the future generations.

Polynesia has been a French colony for these 150 years.  We bring with us the cry of our people for freedom, who have lost the goal to live and have been left in poverty with our dignity being denied as a result of colonial rule.

Long live liberty!  Long live independence!  God bless us all.

Global Hibakusha

Etienne Teparii
Polynesian Liberation Front
1997 World Conference against A & H Bombs, Hiroshima

Hiroshima Day

On behalf of Mr. Oscar Temaru, President of our pro-independence political party named the TAVINI HUIRAATIRA-FLP (The servant of the People-Liberation Front of Polynesia) and also on behalf of the 35% of the voters who follow Mr. Oscar Temaru, in his struggle against nuclear weapons and against nuclear testing, for 20 years, I would like to say greetings to Japan, greetings to the populations of Hiroshima and of Nagasaki and particularly to the victims of atomic bombs, I mean the Hibakushas.

In 1945, I was a little child of 7 years old and I heard my grand parents talking about something terrible that happened somewhere in the world named Japan.  I did not realize what Japan was but I remember that it might be something terrible.  Many years after, when I was pursuing my studies, I had the opportunity to read a book that was written by a Japanese. Professor of the University of Nagasaki.  The title of this book is “les Cloches de Nagasaki” or the “Bells of Nagasaki”.  Maybe this Doctor of medicine is still alive?  If so, I would like also to say greetings to him or to his children, because, in his book, this Professor gave his testimony, just some minutes after the bombing of Nagasaki.  When he came out of the university to join his family, he could not believe what he was seeing: a few minutes ago, there was Nagasaki and a few minutes later, there was no more Nagasaki.

Since I read this book, that terrible image remained in my memory and that’s why I became a peacemaker absolutely against nuclear. I always wished to see Japan and here I am, in Japan, for the first time, strongly determined to join the people of Japan, in the 52nd commemoration of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on the 6th and the 9th of August 1945.

I say that Japan is absolutely right to continue commemorating the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  I say that it is a duty, it is an obligation, for all the world, to remember and not forget the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Why?  If there is a population that knows what nuclear is with its consequences, it is the population of Japan.  So, all of you do know what nuclear is and I will not dwell on its technical aspects.

However, I would like to do some little metaphysics or even some little theology according to which the humankind, having decided to utilize nuclear power, has become guilty.  Guilty of a scientific drift.  Guilty of a moral drift.

Scientific drift, because renewable energies do exist but they are neglected to the benefit of military lobbying.

Moral drift because humankind is building its own morality, exclusively upon negative and primitive values, I mean the power to create fear, the power to create death from distance through the time and through duration.  Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been bombed in 1945, 52 years after the consequences are still there through the Hibakusha who are the duration of the time.  Yes, the cessation of aggression was signed once upon a time, but in reality, the aggression is still going on through the victims.

Humankind, and with it, its institutions, even the spiritual ones, are guilty of a misleading and of a fundamentally wrong and criminal theology consisting in saying that “The Earth belongs to Humankind”.  The consequence is that humankind is spiritually persuaded it has the good right to do anything with the Earth.  No, it is the contrary.  Humankind belongs to the Earth that must be respected together with humankind.

Therefore, since humankind wanted to manipulate nuclear energy, it is committing an act that may be defined as a “new original fault” to be assimilated to the “original fault” of humankind as described in the Christian Bible: A fault of pride that will lead humankind to its own destruction.

That is why, the Tavini-Huiraatira-FLP condemns and refuses nuclear with all its utilization under any form, may it be military or civilian nuclear, may the testing be real or simulated.  We refuse all of them energetically.

The allied Nations’ behavior towards the Peoples in the Pacific is not blameless.  I am not going to enumerate the names of all the islands, atolls or archipelagos that have been utilized without the native People’s assent for nuclear testing:

That was the United Kingdom in Australia where the Aborigines’ land is still contaminated.

That was the USA in Marshall Islands, still strongly contaminated.

That was France at Moruroa and Fangataufa, also contaminated.  I live in Tahiti contaminated with 137 Cesium.

And all that happened after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  That is why it is a duty and a moral obligation for all Indigenous Peoples in the Pacific and in the world, to join Japan in the commemoration of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to fight for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Solidarity with Hibakusha

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