David James Cameron has declared a new independence day in Fiji, marking the start of a new chapter in the nation’s history.
A ceremony is being held to formally announce the country’s new status, with a public address from Prime Minister James Merlino announcing the day’s celebrations.
The British colonial rulers of Fiji did not recognise independence until the late 1800s, when British ships were forced to dock at the island in a bid to prevent British forces from occupying the island and imposing a new constitution.
Fiji was officially incorporated into the United Kingdom in 1932 and is recognised by the European Union as an independent state.
The British government says it has “always had a strong interest in the welfare and development of the people of Fiji”.
It is the first time that a new island has been declared independent.
The announcement came as the government celebrated the countrys first anniversary of its declaration of independence from the British.
Fijians celebrate the anniversary of independence with a traditional dance and singing ceremony on the island.
In the days following the announcement, a ceremony was held to mark the new status.
Fijian Prime Minister David James Merlinos declared the independence day of Fiji on November 2.
He said: “It is my duty to declare independence from my motherland, Britain.
This is a day of celebration for all Fijians, to remember the brave men and women who fought and died in the British Empire, and to celebrate the people’s choice to be independent.”
Mr Merlino added: “We are proud of our rich history, our rich people and our vibrant cultural heritage.
I am sure we will always be a part of the Commonwealth, and I want to thank the Commonwealth for all its efforts to protect our freedom of choice.”
Fiji is a country with a rich history and rich traditions.
This day is a reflection of our proud and diverse nation, and the way we are building our future together.
“The people of the nation are a proud and vibrant people, who want to celebrate this important day, and this is an opportunity to celebrate our freedom, our diversity and our culture.”