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Fuji Cut From Torch Relay

May 30, 2000

Sydney Olympics organizers have cut the nation of Fuji from the torch relay route which was expected to reach the island on June 3. Olympics Minister Michael Knight made the announcement citing that security and safety cannot be guaranteed on the island at this time.

Armed rebels stormed the parliament in an attempted coup on May 19 in the capital Suva, taking the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers hostage. Several days ago the President used a law allowing him to dismiss the Prime Minister since he was being held hostage at the time, and assume executive powers allowing him the decision making ability for the country. Two days ago he constitutionally stepped aside, transferring power to the military, which has imposed martial law in an effort to restore order.

The flame will stay in Tonga before flying on to New Zealand where it is expected to arrive on June 5.