Law proposed to make Kanak emblem New Caledonia’s new flag.
New Caledonia’s pro-independence FLNKS movement has lodged a proposal in the Congress to make the Kanak flag the territory’s official flag. This comes amid a political dispute over the choice of flag which has resulted in four governments collapsing in less than two months.
The FLNKS now wants a law to elevate the traditional pro-independence flag to the new flag. A group advocating the creation of a new New Caledonian flag has called for a fresh rally... in support of its cause.
The Noumea Accord on greater autonomy calls for among other things, a new flag, hymn and bank notes to express the territory’s identity as it is being decolonised. However, France last year accepted a compromise by the accord signatories which wanted the joint use of the Kanak and the French flag.
Among those seeking a new flag are people who have been opposed to any recognition of the Kanak flag.
PLANNED NEW CALEDONIA FLAG RALLY RAISES CONCERNS
Group wants to replace French flag in territory
The group advocating the creation of a new New Caledonian flag has called a fresh rally on Saturday (9th April) in support of its cause. Last Saturday’s planned march was banned by the French high commission for security reasons and armed police were deployed to ensure no gathering took place in defiance of the order.
The high commission prohibited all flag-related meetings after a rival rally was organized by two political parties to be held at the same time and in the same place to brandish the Kanak flag.
The group pushing for a new flag has based its campaign on the Nouméa Accord, which calls for among other things, a new flag, hymn and bank notes to express the territory’s identity as it is being decolonized.
However, France last year accepted a compromise by the accord signatories which want the joint use of the Kanak and the French flag. The flag issue has prompted four government collapses in two months.
Meanwhile, Pacific Scoop reported:
In New Caledonia, the French High Commission...stressed that “at this stage, no risk of increase of the level of radioactivity for New Caledonia was to be feared”. The basis for such advice was mainly that “atmospheric exchanges between the northern and the southern hemispheres are very limited and in case of significant nuclear emissions from Japan, they would circulate within the northern hemisphere”.
“Besides, the distance between New Caledonia and Japan would render local fallout infinitesimal, even in the event of an aggravated accident”, the French High commission in Nouméa said in a release.
The French government is sending a stock of iodine tablets to its overseas territories of the Pacific – as a “preventive measure” in response to the Japanese nuclear power plant crisis.
In a statement, the French Ministry for Overseas said the decision was made to send a consignment of iodine tablets to New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna and French Polynesia, mainly because of the shipping delays associated with the remoteness of these French islands and because no suck quantities of iodine tablets are permanently stocked there. The tablets, once delivered, would be stocked, but the need for a distribution to the population has so far been ruled out.
“At this stage, it has to be reminded that no contamination risk exists for these territories. The risk, which depends on one hand on emissions in Japan and on the other hand on atmospheric currents, is being monitored in real time by the (French) monitoring network of the Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN, institute for radioprotection and nuclear security), the French government said.