Tuesday, May 21, 2024

New Caledonia

Our television news reports each night on the violent protests in New Caledonia. The presenters seem to be glad that France is sending gendarmes and soldiers to bring the situation under control. The New Zealand government is sending planes to rescue tourists. However, there is an elephant in the room, which everyone is ignoring.

What right does France have to be ruling a south pacific nation? I thought that the days of colonialism were over.

New Caledonia is the third-largest exporter of nickel, which is an important commodity for electric vehicle batteries, as well as stainless steel. The territory is home to the fifth-largest nickel reserve in the world, so it is not surprising that the French are so keen to keep control of their colony. I presume that the profits from nickel-smelting go to France and not to the local people.

And the French don’t have a great record in this part of the world. They tested their nuclear bombs on a south pacific atoll with no concern for the people living in the area, because it was too risky to do it in their own back yard. They deliberately bombed a protest ship in New Zealand (Rainbow Warrior) killing a crew member without remorse. The perpetrators were let off.

The French should get out of the South Pacific and let the Kanak people decide how they want to live. The French don’t have any right to be there.

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