ELIZABETH STILL QUEEN OF FIJI: GREAT COUNCIL OF CHIEFS

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MELBOURNE, Australia (Nov. 20, 2002 – Radio Australia)---Britain's Queen Elizabeth has received a belated 50th anniversary greeting from one corner of the Pacific.

Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs has declared that Elizabeth the Second is still Queen of Fiji, and wants to invite her to open a new chiefly complex. The AFP news agency says the pronouncement comes as a surprise, as Fiji has been independent since 1970 and a republic since 1987.

Council of Chiefs Chairman Epeli Ganilau says royal titles were bestowed on the English throne in a traditional installation procedure in 1902 and confirmed in 1937 - a link that has never been severed.

Ganilau says the Queen's return to Fiji’s shores would open the eyes of the younger generation to her status as paramount chief of Fiji in the traditional sense.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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