Tuvalu News


FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu (June 22, 2000 - Radio Australia's Pacific Beat)---Receipt of supplies and the operation of communication services in Tuvalu have been affected by the recent political unrest in both Fiji and the Solomon Islands.

That's the view of Tuvalu Secretary of Government Saufatu Sopoanga, who was interviewed by Radio Australia's Caroline Tiriman.

"Tuvalu relies a lot on Fiji for its communications (services)," Sopoanga said. "Any disruptions (in Fiji) have a direct impact on Tuvalu's communications with the outside world."

He said some delays also have been experienced in the receipt of food and other goods that are ordered from New Zealand and Australia and transported through Suva.

"We're hearing that New Zealand and Australia are looking at direct shipping of our cargos," he added.

In addition, the coups have cancelled classes for Tuvalu students studying in Fiji and the Solomons.

Most students have been evacuated back to Tuvalu, leaving the continuation of their formal education this year in question.

"They cannot go back until the government is assured Fiji and the Solomons would be safe for students to return," he said. "Their (studies) are delayed. For how long, we don't know."


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