Fiji gains independence

Map and flag of Republic of Fiji

Map and flag of Republic of Fiji

-October 10, 1970 marks Independence Day in the Republic of Fiji. This archipelago that lies 1,300 mi (2,100 km) north of New Zealand was a colony of Great Britain for more than a century. Fiji comprises of some 540 islets and 300 islands, of which about 100 are inhabited. The main islands are VitiLevu and Vanua Levu. It became an independent member of the Commonwealth in 1970 and was declared a republic in 1987 following a military coup. Elections in 1992 restored civilian rule whilea new constitution was approved in 1997.