Fiji

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Fiji or formally the Republic of the Fiji Islands is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Vanuatu, west of Tonga and south of Tuvalu.

An archipelago of 322 islands--106 of which are permanently inhabited-- and another 522 islets, comprises the nation. The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for some 87% of the total population. The capital city is Suva. Like much of the Pacific, Fiji is frequently rattled by earthquakes. The most recent occurred on March 24, 2006, a magnitude 6 jishin centered 270 miles west-northwest of the capital.

The estimated 2005 population of Fiji was 893,354, with 468,772 registered voters in 2000.

The name Fiji is the old Tongan word for the islands, which is in turn derived from the Fijian name Viti.

The indigenous majority population are mixed Polynesian and Melanasian. Minorities include large number of Indians and smaller populations of Europeans, Chinese and Rotuman (Polynesian).

Government

Very uneasy consociational arrangements between the indigenes and the descendants of Indian immigrants.

  • Opposition Leader of the Labour Party: Mahendra Chaudhry
  • Parliament: Bicameral body with a 34 seat Senate (24 appointed by the President on the advice of the Great Council of Chiefs, nine appointed by the president, and one appointed by the council of Rotuma) and a 71 seat House of Representatives (23 reserved for ethnic Fijians, 19 reserved for ethnic Indians, three reserved for other ethnic groups, one reserved for the council of Rotuma constituency encompassing the whole of Fiji, plus 25 open seats). Members of parliament serve five-year terms.

Racist Remark by Prime Minister

According to the Fiji Times a complaint was filed by the Pacific Centre for Public Integrity (PCPI) that Prime Minister Laisenia Qarasecommented on television that only a Fijian (non-Indian) prime minister could understand the concerns of the Fijian people. News Article in New Kerala AT the very least his comments presewnt a case of special pleading irrationality.

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