*Fresh off an Australian tour with her frenzied talk-show fans, Oprah Winfrey is taking a respite in the South Pacific island nation of Fiji, where the military regime wished her “a great time.”

Fiji’s tourism minister said Winfrey was spending the Christmas holiday there and that officials wanted to respect her privacy. Local media reported she arrived Thursday and that she and longtime beau Stedman Graham were to stay until Dec. 26.

“We know she is here for a holiday and respect that, and the government obviously wants Winfrey to have a great time,” Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, the tourism minister, said Saturday.

Tourism on Fiji is active, though relations with other countries have been strained by the lack of democracy since a December 2006 military coup. Australia and New Zealand imposed travel bans on Fiji leaders, and international trade sanctions have been imposed, but elections have only been pushed back.

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