22 Feb 2006

Sitiveni Rabuka off to India for medical treatment

4:21 pm on 22 February 2006

The former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, will travel to India next week for knee surgery.

Mr Rabuka has told the Fiji Sun that the same operation in the United States would cost almost US$100,000 but in India the cost would be only US$10,000.

Mr Rabuka says he had called on the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, yesterday seek government assistance with the surgery.

As a former prime minister, Mr Rabuka is entitled to medical benefits from the state.

In the late 1970s Mr Rabuka had attended the Indian Armed forces Staff College for senior officers in Tamil Nadu where among other things he studied coups.

In 1987 Mr Rabuka staged two military coups and seized government.