At 1.96 m and with the proud bearing of a hereditary high chief, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, who has died at 83 from the effects of a stroke, towered over Fijian politics for three decades. Trained as a civil servant under British colonial rule, he helped draft a constitution that gave equal status to ethnic Fijians and Indians and in 1970 became the independent nation's first Prime Minister. After a 1987 military coup ousted Mara's left-wing political rival, he resumed the prime ministership and assented to a new constitution favoring ethnic Fijians. (He later apologized to Indo-Fijians for doing...

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