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PCRC Farewells Valiant Lange


PCRC Farewells Valiant Lange

SUVA (PCRC/Pacific Media Watch): The Pacific Concerns Resource Centre wishes to express its heartfelt condolences to family and friends of the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, David Lange.

"The Pacific is again in wanting of outspoken leaders who are not afraid to speak the truth. Lange had done this and will forever be remembered for his courage," said PCRC director Tupou Vere.

PCRC and all the members of the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific movement has had the privilege of looking to Mr Lange as a true ally who has on many different occasions spoken out against the threats of nuclear proliferation, and found himself to be at the forefront of nuclear disarmament promotions internationally, Ms Vere added.

At the genesis of the NFIP movement's growth and influence, the late Lange, who was also NZ's foreign minister, crafted anti-nuclear legislation that banned nuclear armed and powered warships and aircraft from New Zealand ports. The late Lange gave the lobbying efforts and pressures for the establishment of a Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific or Rarotonga Treaty more clout.

The director of the Suva-based centre now calls upon all Pacific leaders to remember the legacy left by Lange and to celebrate him by making commitments towards the strengthening of the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Zone.

What Lange had said about nuclear weapons is as relevant today as when he uttered them in 1985 - they "are morally indefensible,''...during a debate on the same topic he quipped to a heckler: "Hold your breath, I can smell the uranium on it.''

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clarke, while paying tribute said: "The greatest tribute you can pay to someone is that they've made their mark, they've made a difference to the country for the better, and I believe he did that in many ways."

PCRC, on behalf of the NFIP movement, bids Lange farewell and encourages Pacific leaders to draw inspiration from the example Lange set.

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PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE http://www.pmw.c2o.org PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

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