by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, November 3, 1995:
French Ambassador’s arrogant attitude to the protest of all political parties most intolerable and should be basis for follow-up action
The arrogant attitude of the French Ambassador Eduoard Braine when he received from UMNO Secretary-General Datuk Mohamed Rahmat the protest from all Malaysian political parties against resumption of French nuclear tests is most unacceptable and intolerable.
Eduoard Braine said that France would go ahead and detonate another three nuclear devices as planned before becoming a signatory to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1996.
He claimed that all the nuclear tests done so far in the South Pacific had been described by scientists, including Australia and New Zealand, as “completely harmless”.
The French Ambassador’s claim that all the nuclear tests in the South Pacific are “completely harmless”. Is a travesty of the truth and example of “which Man colonial mentality and arrogance”. If the French nuclear tests are “completely harmless”, then the French should have tested them in France itself and not in the South Pacific.
Eduoard Braine’s statement is highly insensitive to world concerns about the environmental and ecological damage of French nuclear tests, especially as only last week, there had been reported that France’s own studies have shown that nuclear tests in the South Pacific have caused severe cracking of an atoll test site and the grisly death of fish.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, this French government report, commissioned by the French army and conducted by French scientists, said underground tests at Moruroa and Fangataufa atolls had caused more damage than previous atmospheric tests.
This report, “The atolls of Moruroa and Fangataufa: the living environment and its evolution”, made the following finding:
“The underground tests have caused a degradation of the sub-strata for the atoll, more considerable than in the case of aboveground tests.”
The Herald said a photograph in the report shows severe fracturing of rock beneath a test site lagoon caused by underground explosions.
The French Ambassador did not refer to this report, whether to deny or explain its finding, but made the bald and highly unacceptable claim that the French nuclear tests in the South Pacific are “completely harmless”.
Challenge to French Ambassador whether France is prepared to accept foll and exclusive responsibility to pay compensation for all damages to the health of those affected and the eco-system, whether past, present or future arising from French nuclear tests in the South Pacific
Since Eduoard Braine could make such a preposterous claim, he should answer the following questions:
Could he confirm or deny on behalf of the French government the Sydney Morning Herald revelation that the French Government report had found severe fracturing of the atoll site caused by French underground tests.
Could he declare whether the French Government is prepared to make available to the international community all French scientific data, samples and studies so that an independent and comprehensive assessment of the environmental and health impacts of French testing in the South Pacific may be made.
Is France prepared to accept full and exclusive responsibility to pay compensation for all damage to the health of those attacked and the eco-system, whether past, present or future, arising from French nuclear tests in the South Pacific.
If Eduorad Braine is not prepared to react positively to these three questions, which means he has no basis for claiming that the French nuclear tests in the South Pacific are “completely harmless”, he should publicly withdraw and apologise for these highly arrogant and insensitive remarks, which is highly contemptuous of the environmental concerns and lives of the South Pacific islanders as well of the people in the world.