11 December 1997

Alert

Anti-independence leader pressures broadcasters


Incident details

harassed

(PINA/IFEX) - The visiting head of the French overseas
broadcasting service told staff in New Caledonia on 8 December
1997 that they will continue to be free to report without
restrictions. Societe National de Radio Television Francaise
D'Outre Mer (RFO) president Jean-Marie Cavada pledged that RFO
journalists in the French Pacific territory would be protected.


His comments follow accusations of bias against RFO broadcasters
made by the powerful leader of New Caledonia's anti-independence
movement, Jacques Lafleur. A wealthy businessman, Lafleur heads
the Rassemblement pour la Caledonie dans la Republique (RPCR) and
is president of South Province, which includes the territory's
capital, Noumea. Lafleur said RFO broadcasters are taking
unconsidered points of view and seem to be indifferent to the
harm they are causing.


His comments came as the nickel-rich territory prepares for a
year in which a referendum on whether it remains French or
becomes independent is due.


This follows ten years of peace and economic development after
the signing of accords ending a bloody conflict involving French
security forces and pro-independence (mainly indigenous Kanak)
and anti-independence (mainly European) groups.




Source

Pacific Islands News Association
Level 2, 46 Gordon Street, Damodar Centre
Private Mail Bag, Suva
Fiji Islands
pina (@) connect.com.fj
Phone: +679 3303623
Fax: +679 3317055
 
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