Fiji has no dispute with Britain: official

17:11, March 03, 2011      

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Despite removing the figure head of Queen Elizabeth II from Fiji currency notes and coins, the country 's historical ties with Britain remains strong, a senior Fijian government official said on Thursday.

Lieutenant Colonel Pio Tikoduadua, Permanent Secretary to the PM's Office, made the statement following reports in overseas media that Fiji has removed the figure head of Queen Elizabeth II from it's currency notes and coins due to a row with Britain over it's suspension from the Commonwealth.

In response to the media reports, Tikoduadua said no one and no media organization can take away the historical attachment between Fiji and Britain.

Tikoduadua explained that for a long time, Fiji has become a republic and the monarchy is no longer the head of state."So, we are now creating our own destiny." Fiji is just substituting the Queen's figure head with issues more relevant to Fijian society today.

Important and iconic flora and fauna have been selected to replace the Queen's portrait like the tagimoucia flower, the crested iguana and many other species which are on the verge of extinction and parts of the country's heritage, added the official.

Tikoduadua reiterated that although Fiji is suspended from the Commonwealth, the country doesn't have any row with anyone.

Earlier in this week, the Fijian government approved new designs for the island nation's currency, which were selected by the Currency Design Committee appointed by cabinet, to replace the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on five banknotes and five coin denominations.

Fiji's Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said Tuesday that the designs selected were specific to Fiji and constituted endemic flora and fauna.

Source: Xinhua

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