Fiji Islands: Political System
|Republic of the Fiji Islands|
Fiji has officially been a republic since 1987, which is structured as follows:
The large council of chiefs, which is composed of chiefs and representatives from the 14 provinces, appoints the head of state, the President of Fiji, for five years. The president in turn appoints the prime minister, i.e. the head of government.
The latter recruits his cabinet members from parliament. The parliament, in turn, consists of a senate with 32 seats and a house of representatives with 72 seats and is thus a bicameral parliament. The senators are appointed by the great council of chiefs, the members of the House of Representatives are elected by the people for five years. The seats are distributed according to ethnic groups: 23 for Fijians, 19 for Indians, other ethnic groups 3 and Rotuma 1.
The state is made up of the following districts:
Central, Northern, Eastern and Western. These four districts consist of 14 provinces and the island of Rotuma with a special status.
At the beginning of December 2006 there was the 4th military coup in 20 years. The leader of the coup was the head of the armed forces Commander Voreqe Bainimarama, who shortly afterwards appointed himself president in place of President Ratu Josefa Iloilo. The Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, who had been deposed by the coup plotters, flew from the capital Suva to his home province of Mavana. The coup was bloodless. However, free elections were held in 2014 and all international sanctions against the country were lifted.
The national anthem of Fiji is called Meda Dau Doka, or God Bless Fiji. It was introduced with independence in 1970. The text is by Michael Francis Alexander Prescott, the music comes from an old folk song.
|In the original text||In the English translation|
|Meda dah doka ka vinakata na vanuaE ra sa dah tiko kina na savasava
Rawa tu na gauna ni sautu na veilomani
Biu na i tovo tawa savasavaRefrain
Me bula ga ko Viti
Ka me toro ga ki liu
Me ra turaga vinaka ko ira na i liuliu
Me ra liutaki na tamata
E na veika vinaka
Me oti kina na i tovo caMe da doka ka vinakata na vanua
E ra sa dau tiko kina na savasava
Rawa tu na gauna ni sautu na veilomani
Me sa biu na i tovo tawa yagaBale ga vei kemuni na cauravou e Viti
Ni yavala me savasava na vanua
Ni kakua ni vosota na dukadukali
Ka me da sa qai biuta vakadua
|God of the Nations bless the islands of FijiAs we stand united under the worthy blue banner.
And we honor and defend the peace forever
Marching forward together, God bless Fiji.Refrain
For Fiji, always Fiji, let our voices ring out with pride
For Fiji, always Fiji, the name ring out far and wide.A land of freedom, hope and splendor endure
whatever may happen,
May God bless Fiji.
For all time.God of the Nations bless the islands of Fiji’s
shores of golden sand and sunshine,
happiness and music.Stand united, we of Fiji,
honor and glory forever.
Marching further together,
God bless Fiji.
Based on flag descriptions by Countryaah.com, the national flag (national flag) of the Fiji Islands was officially introduced in 1970. In the top left of the flag is the Union Jack – the flag of the United Kingdom, which ruled here from 1874 to 1970. In the flag’s coat of arms there is a dove of peace and the country’s most important crops – bananas, sugar cane and coconut palms.
- Check top-mba-universities for public holidays, sports events, UNESCO world heritage sites and major places to visit in Fiji.
Fiji: Famous People
Waisale Tikoisolomoni Serevi (born 1968)
Waisale Tikoisolomoni Serevi was born on May 20, 1968 in Fiji. In the 15-man game he had played a total of 39 times for Fiji between 1989 and 2003, including his representation of Fiji at the Rugby World Cups in 1991, 1999 and 2003.
Abel Tasman (1603-1659)
Abel Tasman was born in 1603 in Lutjegast in the province of Groningen in what is now the Netherlands. He had sighted Fiji on his expedition in the South Seas on February 6, 1643. He had died on October 10, 1659 in Batavia, today’s Jakarta on Java.
James Cook (1728-1779)
James Cook was born on November 7, 1728 in Marton near Middlesbrough in Great Britain. He had visited the Fiji Islands in 1774. Cook was killed by locals in Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii, on February 14, 1779.
Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau (1815-1883)
Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau was born in Narai in 1815. He was the first and last king of Fiji.
He died on February 11 on the island of measles he caught in Sydney. A total of around 40,000 residents of the islands fell victim to the disease.
Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara (1920-2004)
Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara was born on May 6, 1920 in Vanua Balavu. He is considered to be the founding father of modern Fiji. He was chief minister, the forerunner of the prime minister in Fiji from 1967 until independence in 1970, and apart from a short break in 1987, prime minister from 1970 to 1992. He was then from 1993 to 2000 president of the island state of Fiji. Ratu ”is the name for a chief in the Fiji Islands.
He died on April 18, 2004 in Suva, the capital of Fiji
Mahendra Pal Chaudhry (born 1942)
Mahendra Pal Chaudhry was born in Fiji on September 2, 1942. He is a Fiji Labor Party politician. He became Prime Minister of Fiji on May 19, 1999, making him the first Prime Minister of Fiji with Indian roots, which was only made possible by the 1997 new constitution. However, he and his ministers were taken hostage by putschists on May 19, 2000 and declared deposed. Frank Bainimarama, the chief of the armed forces, then declared himself the new ruler of the island state. The intervention of the military ended the coup, but still meant the temporary end of political freedom and equality for Indo-Fijians.
Laisenia Qarase (1941-2020)
Laisenia Qarase was born on February 4, 1941 in Vanua Balavu. After the failed coup by nationalist leader George Speight in May 2000, Qarase was installed as head of an interim government on July 3. He was Prime Minister of Fiji between 2000 and 2006. On May 18, 2006, he was re-elected with an absolute majority. At the beginning of December 2006 the army had put a coup against him. Thereupon the army chief of the Fiji Islands, Frank “Bainimarama” took over power. After the military coup, Laisenia Qarase withdrew from politics. He died on April 21, 2020 in Suva
Frank Bainimarama (born 1954)
Frank Bainimarama was born in Fiji on April 27th. After the coup in May 2006, he has been the head of government of Fiji since January 5, 2007. In 2014 he was again prime minister of the island state in a democratic election. After the election on November 19, 2018, he was re-elected as Prime Minister on November 19.
Fiji Islands: animals
Since the Fiji Islands were never connected to the mainland, the fauna is accordingly not very rich in species. Most animal species come from the group of birds and reptiles.
The world of mammals is limited to airborne species and the mongooses, which were brought to the islands for the purpose of rat extermination and which also decimated the bird world and snakes.
The winged species include the endemic Fijian monkey-faced fruit bat, which is one of the rarest mammals in the world and is restricted to the summit regions of the Des Voeux Mountain on Taveuni and the cloud forests over 900 m of some other islands in the Fiji group. Little is known about its way of life, as it has so far only rarely been observed in the wild, which is due to its withdrawn way of life as well as to the likely low number of individuals.
Reptiles are the second most represented group on the islands, among other things by the endemic crested iguana, which is also known as the crested iguana. The iguana with the characteristic hump in the neck area is only found on a few islands in the Fiji group. It is extremely rare and critically endangered. Also noticeable is its deep green color with the white horizontal stripes and the yellow tip of the nose.
Also endemic are the only two species of frog on the islands, the Fijian ground frog and the Fijian tree frog. Both only live in the dense rainforest, but the Fijian tree frog is noticeably frequent in areas with large numbers of screw palms. It is noticeable that its coloration is very variable, but this is independent of the location. Furthermore, this species differs from others in that it does not have a tadpole stage and the offspring hatch already “ready”, so to speak, as well as the fact that the females call the males during courtship and not the other way around, as is actually the case with is the case with most frogs.
Snakes, poisonous animals
Despite their considerable size of over 1 m, the Pacific boa (also known as the South Sea boa), a strangler snake, is rarely seen. It lives in the dense undergrowth of the rainforests and feeds here mainly on frogs, lizards and birds. There are no venomous snakes and other poisonous animals in the Fiji Islands.
Birds are probably the most species-rich group on the Fiji Islands, especially Taveuni is very popular with ornithologists, which is probably due to the fact that no mongooses were introduced on these islands. The endemic orange pigeon also lives here, a very small (approx. 20 cm) and very colorful pigeon. The males have an olive-colored head and an orange-orange-red breast, while the females are more yellow-green in color. The orange pigeon feeds mainly on small fruits, berries and caterpillars that it finds in the forests. Your clutch consists of only one egg.
In contrast to the orange pigeon, the Taveuni parrot is very easy to find, especially with the help of the ears. Furthermore, hawks, red-bellied monarchs and the emerald green masked parakeets live here, whose orange underside and the black color around the beak are particularly characteristic.
Taveuni is home to a beetle endemic to Fiji, the Xixuthrus terriblis, on which its long antennae are particularly noticeable.
World The Fiji Islands participate in a giant clam breeding program to ensure the conservation of the largest of all clams.
Many different tropical fish species cavort on the coral reefs, but also anemones, sea snakes, rays as well as sharks and dolphins can be found in the waters around the Fiji Islands.
Fiji Islands: Plants
Although humans have penetrated far into nature and brought about great changes, original vegetation has nonetheless been preserved in the impenetrable mountain regions.
The coast of the islands is lined with mangrove forests. Also near the beach you will come across the Indian almond tree, which is often planted as a shade provider due to its salt-tolerant way of life.
The most common and found on all islands are the coconut palms and panda nut trees, which mostly grow near the coast, of which there is an endemic (only occurring here) species in the Maldives, the pandanus vitiensis. In German these trees are known as “screw palm”, which describes the arrangement of their leaves. On the lower part of the trunk, the trees form strong aerial roots, which gives the impression that the tree is standing on stilts.
There are also forests with hardwood plants such as sandalwood and kauri trees. Kauri trees can grow up to 60 m high, up to 2000 years old and reach a circumference of up to 13 m. The tree has gray bark and is also found on Vanuatu and New Zealand. However, its population has shrunk considerably, and so it is now a nature reserve.
Other and introduced plants
The north-west of the Fiji Islands is characterized by its severe dryness from the savanna vegetation. In the southeast, however, the dense rainforest with ferns, mosses, lianas and orchids predominates.
Fiji’s national flower, the Tagimaucia Flower, is very popular. A plant that is found only in the high rainforests of Taveuni on Lake Tagimaucia and is one of the most beautiful wild flowers in Fiji. Its red flowers with a core of white petals are characteristic.
Although there are some plants or their seeds z. B. by birds or the wind – have made it across the sea, others were brought with them by visitors and later residents. Orchids are one of these plants, as well as the coconut palm and frangipanis.
The seeds of the 5-6 cm large fruits of the Indian almond tree contain oil and have an almond-like taste, so that they are eaten raw and are a popular snack.
The kava plant is a robust, slightly succulent (water-storing) perennial shrub that is related to the spice pepper and can reach a height of over 2 m. The trunk is highly branched and has up to 16 heart-shaped leaves. Kawa has a well-developed rootstock from which the national drink kava is made. The roots are used fresh or dried and finely ground beforehand.
Breadfruit trees are bulky and have large leaves up to half a meter long, as well as fruit heads weighing up to 5 kg. The elongated, round breadfruit of the tree has a green, prickly skin and grows 2 m high. In Europe it is cooked and eaten as a vegetable.
Another plant popular as a vegetable is taro. This bulbous plant belongs to the arum family and forms perennial, up to 2 m high bushes with upright growth. Their heart-shaped leaves are dark green with a fine white coating and often have a diameter of 60 cm. The tuberous, thickened roots are mainly used, and are prepared like potatoes. Young taro leaves are also used as vegetables.
Another important crop is manioc, which is also known under the name cassava or bread root. It belongs to the milkweed family, grows up to 3 m high, has a bushy habit and greenish-yellow flowers. The starchy, up to 8 cm thick and up to 90 cm long tubers are used. All parts of the plant contain a toxin that is destroyed by washing out and exposure to heat. This makes the cassava palatable.
Tropical foods such as papayas, mangoes, bananas, avocados, citrus fruits and coffee play a particularly important role in the economy.
The roots and shoots of the kava plant contain kawa-lactones, which have a relaxing, antispasmodic and pain-relieving effect. Therefore, the plant is also used as a remedy.
Be careful with the frangipani, as it contains a poisonous milky sap.