BRITISH ARMY EYES FIJIAN ARMY RECRUITS

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (February 1, 1999 - Daily Post/PACNEWS)---The British government may recruit 200 Fiji soldiers to join the British army, the Daily Post reports.

However, plans would depend on whether the Fiji government will agree to accommodate a British army screening team in Fiji, a source close to the army said.

Fiji army recruits would add to the 12 Fijian musicians already serving in the British army. The bandsmen made contact with their new regiments while on a military tattoo in Edinburgh last year, where they drew wide applause from audiences.

Colonel Sakiusa Raivoce says another 30 soldiers have written directly to London seeking recruitment and some of them have already been accepted.

Fiji has had links with the British Army from World War II days when Fiji helped ward off the Japanese from the Solomon Islands in the Pacific War.

In the mid-1960s, a large number of Fijian soldiers were recruited into the British army where reports indicate they served with distinction.

A number of Fiji soldiers have also been part of the elite Secret Air Services (SAS) and the Green Jackets.

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