Tahiti, June 2006

Tahiti is the main island of French Polynesia. These archipelagoes were first settled by emigrants from Southeast Asia. They were later colonized, first by Britain then by France, in the 19th century. They are now a French overseas territory, collectivité d'outre-mer, with some local autonomy.

Starting in 1966, France tested nuclear weapons in the Moruroa atoll. There were a total of over 40 atmospheric tests, followed by more than 150 underground tests. In response to worldwide protests, the French government sent commandos to bomb the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland (New Zealand) harbor, killing a Dutch photographer onboard.

The last test was conducted in January 1996, after which the test site was dismantled. However, the people of French Polynesia have not forgotten. Here are signs calling for reparations to the victims of Moruroa.

The following photographs are from a visit to the islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea, and Maupiti in June 2006.

Scenery People Market Roulottes Vanilla Flowers

  Home :  Travels :  Updated: 10 Dec 2006  

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