Royal Watch News
Fiji will no longer celebrate Queen's birthday
Aug 2, 2012, 12:01 GMT
Fiji is to scrap the public holiday to mark Britain's Queen Elizabeth's birthday.
The former colony's government have decided there is no point in celebrating the British monarch's birthday as they believe she is irrelevant and the day off was a 'burden' for the country.
Fiji was made a republic 25 years ago and the queen's likeness had already been removed from Fijian coins and has been replaced with images of local flora and fauna.
Jone Usamate, a spokesman for the Labour Ministry in the capital, Suva, said: 'The queen's birthday's importance disappeared from Fiji when we became a republic and now our status is an independent nation.
'There is a focus on more productivity and growth, so as a result the decision was made to cut down on the number of holidays in Fiji, as holidays can be a burden on business and government.'
The queen's birthday had been celebrated in early June as opposed to her real birthday on April 21 and Fijians will now only have nine public holidays a year from 2013.
While the queen ceased to be the ruler of Fiji when it became a republic in 1987, its Great Council of Chiefs continued to honour her until now.
Other former British-ruled countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada still mark her birthday with a public holiday.
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