Reports from Rapa Nui

SUBHEAD: Pacific churches launch aid effort in Rapa Nui conflict; considering island part of Polynesia.  

By Staff on 7 December 2010 for Radio New Zealand International -

Image above: Young man from Rapa Nui prepares for traditional banana race. From (
The Pacific Conference of Churches has launched an aid effort for Rapa Nui people, injured during clashes with Chilean forces last week. The PCC’s General Secretary Fe’iloakitau Tevi says the group’s responding to calls for help from a representative of the indigenous people’s parliament on the island, also known as Easter Island.
 Dozens were injured when police used rubber bullets and tear gas after an early morning attempt to evict Rapa Nui from a building they’d been occupying during their ongoing ancestral land dispute with the Chilean government.

Mr Tevi says the PCC has contacted the International Committee of the Red Cross to help. “There is some concern about an uneasy tension on the island right now and they fear that things will get worse.

For us the issue of the people of Rapa Nui is a Pacific issue and we will always consider them as part of the region. We feel that we are in solidarity with them and we need to step in.” Mr Tevi says governments in the region should be pressing Chile over the weekend violence.

Video above: Confrontation between Chilean police and Rapa Nui residents. From (

Audio link: Listen to NPR radio report on Rapa Nui.
From (

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