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Obsèques de Jacques Lafleur à Nouméa

Obsèques de Jacques Lafleur à Nouméa
NOUMEA, 10 décembre 2010 (AFP) - Les obsèques de l'ancien député de Nouvelle-Calédonie, Jacques Lafleur, ont eu lieu vendredi matin à Nouméa où la ministre de l'Outre-mer, Marie-Luce Penchard a lu un message de Nicolas Sarkozy.

La cérémonie, célébrée par le pasteur Kaémo, s'est tenue dans le hall d'un hôtel rénové, le Château Royal, qui n'a pas encore ouvert ses portes, et qui appartient à la famille Lafleur, au bord d'une plage de Nouméa.

Tous bords politiques confondus, les dirigeants de l'archipel y ont assisté, ainsi que de nombreux anonymes. Le président du gouvernement de Polynésie française, Gaston Tong Sang était également présent.

Accompagnée de Marc Laffineur, premier vice-président de l'Assemblée Nationale, Marie-Luce Penchard est arrivée à Nouméa jeudi pour rendre hommage à M. Lafleur, mort samedi d'une crise cardiaque à 78 ans, et figure emblématique du Caillou pendant près de trente ans, jusqu'en 2004.

Lisant un message du président de la République, Nicolas Sarkozy, Mme Penchard a salué un "homme de passion, de partage et de dialogue".

"Je connaissais bien Jacques Lafleur, j'ai siégé pendant des années à ses côtés à l'Assemblée nationale. Il était un parlementaire respecté, un homme politique avisé et un défenseur passionné de la Calédonie dans la France", a indiqué dans son message M. Sarkozy.

"Il est là l'héritage de Jacques Lafleur : la défense de la Nouvelle-Calédonie dans la France ne se renforce pas par l'intransigeance, les opositions ou le refus de donner et de pardonner", a également indiqué le chef de l'Etat.

Député RPR puis UMP de 1978 à 2007, Jacques Lafleur était le leader incontesté des anti-indépendantistes d'origine européenne durant les violences, qui les ont opposés aux indépendantistes kanak dans les années 1980.

Après la tragédie de la grotte d'Ouvéa, qui fit 21 morts, il avait signé le 26 juin 1988 avec le leader Kanak, Jean-Marie Tjibaou, les accords de Matignon, sous l'égide du Premier ministre d'alors, Michel Rocard. Ces accords avaient permis de ramener la paix dans l'archipel.

Il a également signé dix ans plus tard en 1998, l'accord de Nouméa, qui a prolongé cette paix, au travers d'un processus de décolonisation progressive.


Late Lafleur’s funeral to be held on Friday

Obsèques de Jacques Lafleur à Nouméa
NOUMÉA, Wednesday 8 December 2010 (Oceania Flash) – The funeral for late New Caledonia’s leader Jacques Lafleur, who passed away on Saturday, have been announced for Friday this week.
High officials from metropolitan France are expected to attend, including French minister for Overseas countries and territories, Marie-Luce Penchard.
Penchard confirmed she would be travelling to New Caledonia from 9 to 11 December.
Lafleur died aged 78 from a cardiac arrest on Saturday December 4, 2010, at his Gold Coast residence in Queensland, Australia.
Meanwhile, Lafleur‘s body was to be flown back from Australia on Wednesday by special aircraft.
On Thursday, the public will be allowed to pay respects at a public place in Nouméa.
Meanwhile, all flags in the French Pacific territory are being flown at half-mast and public and private enterprises alike are being encouraged to release their staff and allow them to attend the ceremony.
New Caledonia’s local government and French High commission have also announced that due to the recent development, they had had to postpone a scheduled official visit to New Zealand, upon the invitation of New Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully.
The visit, which was to have included New Caledonia’s President Philippe Gomès and newly-arrived French High Commissioner Albert Dupuy, was initially planned to take place from 7 to 11 December.
It was now being rescheduled for early 2011.
Further reactions have also emerged from the Pacific region, particularly French Polynesia, whose President Gaston Tong Sang on Tuesday hailed the late “man of dialogue and … peace”.
On Sunday, messages of condolence flowed in from Paris, where French President Nicolas Sarkozy paid tribute to a man ho has “embodied a commitment to maintaining New Caledonia a part of France”.
“The Head of State particularly wishes to pay respect to the memory of the man who has been, with Jean-Marie Tjibaou, the brain father of the Matignon-Oudinot Accords and later the Nouméa Accords, which have put an end to the tragic events of the mid-1980s and restored civil peace in New Caledonia”, a release from the French Presidency said on Sunday (Paris time).
“An astute and passionate politician, Jacques Lafleur has always been able, when the essentials were at stake, to extend a hand to his adversaries in order to avoid the return of violence and division in New Caledonia. On that respect, he has undeniably left his mark on our country’s history”, the release went on.
Other tributes came on Sunday from the French Prime minister François Fillon who evoked the famous handshake with Tjibaou that allowed for “a shared future to be build by all communities (in New Caledonia)”.
French associate minister for overseas countries and territories, Marie-Luce Penchard and her senior minister Brice Hortefeux (minister for home affairs, overseas countries and territories and immigration, in a joint release, also stressed the late leader “has always brought forward the way of dialogue between New Caledonia’s political forces so that sustainable peace can set in”.
“His historic handshake with Kanak leader Jean-Marie Tjibaou, in manner of conclusion to the Matignon Accords on 26th June, 1988, will remain a founding act for New Caledonia and its relationship vis-à-vis the (French) State. New Caledonia has lost one of its great leaders, who itinerary demonstrates at the highest level what political responsibility means, to make the right decisions, even during the most confuse times and to convince others of the relevance of one’s stand”.
Former French socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, who was in power during the signing of the Nouméa Accord in 1998, also reacted, saying ongoing dialogue maintained by Lafleur at the time allowed to “avoid and put an end to what was then turning into yet another colonial tragedy for France”.
French National Assembly (Lower House) Speaker Bernard Accoyer, who is currently in New Caledonia for a fact-finding mission, also paid a vibrant homage to the late leader.
Other tributes came from the other French Pacific territory of French Polynesia, whose representative at the French National Assembly also paid respect to “a great politician who has left a mark on French overseas communities by drawing a path for peace”. The Lafleur-Tjibaou handshake led to the signing of the “Matignon-Oudinot Accord” between Lafleur (on behalf of the pro-French camp), Tjibaou (on behalf of the pro-independence camp) and then French socialist Prime Minister Michel Rocard.
The pact marked the gradual return of New Caledonia to civil peace, but Tjibaou was assassinated one year later, in 1989, by a hardliner within his own pro-independence camp.
The Matignon Accords were followed by the Nouméa Accord, signed in 1998 between the same parties.
The Nouméa accord was perceived as the continuation of the Matignon Accord, but went further in that, in the name of the notion of “common destiny”, it set up the first local proportionally representative government for New Caledonia, and enumerated a series of pro-autonomy measures such as the gradual transfer of powers from France to New Caledonia, as well as a possible referendum on self-determination between 2014 and 2018.
In the mid-1970s, Lafleur, who was then close to Jacques Chirac and a member of his RPR (Rassemblement pour la République) created the RPCR (Rally for New Caledonia within the (French) Republic).
Lafleur resigned from his seat at the Congress in April 2010, six years after a resounding political defeat at New Caledonia’s general elections, in May 2004, marking the end of an undisputed leadership spanning a quarter of a century.
Between 1978 and 2007, he has also been the most recurrent representative for New Caledonia at the French National Assembly (Lower House).
In November 2010, one of his last public appearances was for his decoration of the “Dove for Peace” (a decoration created in 2008 to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal declaration of Human Rights), in recognition for his famous handshake with Tjibaou.
He then told local media he felt “very honoured” both for himself but also for Jean-Marie Tjibaou, while adding he still favoured a long-term pact and strong ties with metropolitan France.
“It is a possibility that one day, New Caledonia would wish to emancipate itself, but I still wish that before, it impregnates itself of the French culture … We have to realise that we are lucky to be French citizens and I believe our interest is that things remain this way for a long time to come”, he told the daily newspaper Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes last month.


Rédigé par AFP et PAD le Jeudi 9 Décembre 2010 à 15:34 | Lu 686 fois

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