23 Apr 2004

Crowd expected at Fiji state funeral forces change of venue

11:23 am on 23 April 2004

More than 200,000 people are expected at the state funeral of Fiji's elder statesman, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, on April the 30th, forcing a change of venue for the service.

It will be the biggest-ever funeral gathering in the country's history as locals are expected to be joined by hundreds of international leaders and dignitaries.

Organisers have changed the venue for the service from a Suva cathedral to the city's Albert Park.

The day of the funeral has been declared a public holiday and a national mourning period, which began two days ago will finish on the day of Ratu Mara's burial, on May 3.