FIJI'S RABUKA SUPPORTS KIRITIMATI VETERAN'S COMPENSATION CAMPAIGN

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (December 28, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Fiji's Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, has expressed support for a compensation campaign by Kiritimati (Christmas) Island army veterans.

The veterans want compensation for illnesses they allegedly contracted while serving on the island in the late 1950s, when the British were carrying out hydrogen bomb tests there. Rabuka says Fiji should support the campaign because Fiji also had men on the island.

He says six Fiji soldiers who were on Kiritimati died years after returning, but from illnesses such as blood cancer and unexplained heart attacks, which they had no family history of.

Rabuka says Fiji should keep open the option of supporting the campaign with other countries that had troops participating in Operation Grapple on Kiritimati Island.

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