Ratu Tevita Mara is looking at applying to live in New Zealand. He said he might make a formal application to seek asylum in New Zealand and was already in informal discussions. He says is also talking with people in other countries.Colonel Mara says he would also like his family to move to New Zealand with him. Colonel Mara told Radio Tarana that New Zealand is in a difficult position. “I think if the New Zealand Government comes out too strongly in support of me I think it might see the Acting High Commissioner become persona non grata again in Fiji.” The New Zealand Government says it has received no application from him yet and if he did apply, it would be evaluated in the usual way.
Fiji interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has declared the former army commander a fugitive and has issued an extradition application to bring him back to face a trial. Tonga’s Prime Minister’s Office has confirmed it has received an application from Fiji’s government for the extradition. The Tonga Chronicle says Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano has stated that the government will not interfere with the process.
Mara said he believed he would not get a fair hearing in Fiji.
In a statement issued earlier this week Colonel Mara said ”Nearly five years ago, the Fiji Military Forces led by Commodore Bainimarama ousted the SDL and Fiji Labour Party Coalition government. There is no denial of the part I played in this 4th Coup together with BG Pita Driti.The platform and agenda of the takeover was to reform Fiji and tackle issues relating to corruption generally.
After nearly five years we are now faced with a different Fiji, devoid of the noble objectives of the RFMF to return Fiji to Elections swiftly, once, the reforms were achieved. As you have seen, notable and prominent figures, all of whom initially supported the 2006 Coup have long departed or have been pushed out as the Regime started to deviate from the original intent of the RFMF.
Mara concludes by saying “the 2006 coup objectives are no longer any part of the Regime plan.” ”I am calling on the people of Fiji to unite first and then, we shall overcome the dictator soon before our Nation is completely destroyed.”
News category: Pacific.