#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Mara: What are Australia and New Zealand waiting for?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mara: What are Australia and New Zealand waiting for?

By Tamara McLean, AAP South Pacific Correspondent

CHRISTCHURCH, May 17 AAP - A former Fiji military commander who fled the "brutal leadership" he once supported has criticised Australia and New Zealand for failing to bring the regime to its knees.

Lieutenant Colonel Ratu Tevita Mara, an ex-chief of staff in Fiji's military government, had been facing charges of plotting to overthrow self-appointed leader Frank Bainimarama when he was plucked from waters off Fiji by a Tongan Navy boat.

Holed up in a "secret location" in Tonga, Lt Col Mara is waiting to see if Fiji will force his extradition back to Suva where he and another high-ranking official, Brigadier General Pita Driti, are accused of inciting rebellion.

The fugitive, who denies the charge, told AAP it was a "huge relief" to be away from that "hateful regime" which has controlled Fiji since a coup in December 2006.

Describing Commodore Bainimarama as a "coward" and a "puppet" to the whims of his attorney-general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Lt Col Mara said he could "not understand why Australia doesn't do more to stop them".

"Australia, and New Zealand too, what are they waiting for? Can't they see that everything they've done, the sanctions and cutting Fiji off, haven't done nearly enough to hurt the regime.

"They need to show themselves to be regional powers and use more force to bring this regime down."

He called on Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd to cut all aid to Fiji and "seriously consider" telling Australians not to holiday at the popular resort destination as "tourists just keep feeding the regime".

The calls are at odds with a paper released by Sydney's Lowy Institute last week urging Mr Rudd to soften Canberra's approach towards Fiji, relax sanctions and open diplomatic channels.

Mr Rudd and his New Zealand counterpart Murray McCully have been focused on pushing Fiji towards democratic elections which Cdre Bainimarama has promised to hold in September 2014.

But Lt Col Mara, who until recently was an insider, said there had been "real talk" within the ranks that elections will not happen.
"Khaiyum, certainly, doesn't want them, and he makes all the decisions."

Explaining his own role in the military coup and government, he said: "I believed in Bainimarama, in what he was doing, until I realised that it was terribly wrong."

He said he expected to answer to the people for his actions in the future.

The military man's escape has deepened a rift between Fiji and Tonga, which have been battling over ownership of mineral-rich Minerva Reef.

As the son of Fiji's first prime minister, the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara and a relation of Tongan royals, Lt Col Mara has close ties to both nations.

He said he chose to go to Nuku'alofa as he knew the kingdom would protect him.

Cdre Bainimarama has reacted angrily to his departure, calling it "an act of a despicable nature" and hitting out at Tonga's "illegal extraction".

"The Fijian government takes strong exception to such breaches of Fiji's sovereignty," Cdre Bainimarama said on Monday.

In response, Tonga's prime minister Lord Tu'ivakano denied the collection was planned and said the kingdom had no interest in interfering in Fiji's domestic affairs.
"Fiji's domestic affairs are her own and his majesty's government has no interest in bringing undue influence," the leader said in a statement.

Taking a swing at political interference in Fiji's judicial system, he said Tongan courts would be free to decide on the extradition application once it was received.

New Zealand has opted to stay out of the spat. Prime Minister John Key said Wellington would continue to monitor the situation but had no plans to get involved at this point.


Anonymous said...

Kemuni na kai Kadavu. Ni vakama na waqa ratou vodo tiko kina na carawai qori.

Anonymous said...

Its not the first time that the Lowe Institute is out of touch with what is happening on the ground in their neighbourhood.
Perhaps its time they stop listening to loudmouth journalists like Mr Davis and actually came and spoke to people on the ground.
Wrong info leads to wrong policies Mr Rudd.
I think Kevin you should seriously have a conversation with Mr Mara.

Anonymous said...

Yeah as if they will interfere. although the Aust and NZ felt right to interfere in East Timor and the Solomon Islands than why not Fiji.........oooops!!! sorry we are waiting for cahos or anarchy. For goodness sake Aust and NZ wake up and put the real presure. Send your navy ships to the Island and give them 24 hours to give up!!!

Anonymous said...

To australia and New Zealand..the fiji military doesn't have any weapons..they only have guns..No aircraft,No Tanks and No submarines,and No Helicopters too..so it wont be hard to conquer them as they have nothing but some loud mouthed commander that has no guts but to bark..Make your move now and lets see if they are good and tough enough..

mark manning said...

The Australian Government is unable to assist Fiji.
This should have been sought under the Biketawa Declaration :-

The sad reality is, neither the Australian nor the New Zealand Government have a mandate to invade a Sovereign Nation.

In effect, it is up to Fijians to resolve the mess they themselves created, either by poor governance, ignorance or by complicity, inadvertently or otherwise

Anonymous said...

How long will Fiji have to wait for Mara to spill the beans and why would he want to do this a little at a time? I suspect there is possibly nothing damaging to expect from his promised statements. Get it all out at once I say and dont put a "thriller suspense" feel to it. Get it all out now and at once!

Anonymous said...

Aust n NZ not stupid.
Why risk their soldiers lives for a useless country anyway - dont talk stupid roko lui.
Economic sanctions will result in more hardship for the people of Fiji ,,,,,you not gonna feed them because u kana puaka tiko qori mai toga,,,,vutulaki!!
Come up with something better or just shut up. Right now there seems to be no rebellion, Kadavu has welcomed voreqe etc etc blah blah blah....

Sa maumau wale ,,,,,,cakava nomu matanigasau vei serevi kei roko tui dreketi. Moce.

PussyMeo said...

Breaking News...Fiji naval vessel en route to Tonga on a secret mission ran out of fuel.

Anonymous said...

Hot news here in new zealand....Lt. col mara has been given the okay to enter new zealand as per NZ PM's latest release a while ago.

SEMI MEO said...

How dare the young chief encourage shutting off the food supply to our thousands of families in Tourist Industry and others… just making a booking for a family of 4 in a 5 star hotel in the west with staff angry at the young chiefs wild rhetoric as self proclaimed savor of Fiji.

He is enjoying free meals in his “secrete hide out” while our people in the Tourist Industry on a mere $2.00 an hour survival are threatening by one of their own chief…our heart cries out.
37,000 Aussie tourists a month will continue t o visit Fiji.

Come on Ratu Mara, there must be some other way, Sir.

Anonymous said...

@Anon.7:07 PM

Let's give Mara some time and space.

Anonymous said...

Tourists and investors - boycott the BainiBra Taliban PantiesArse regime.

Anonymous said...

Breaking News.... Fiji Naval send SOS to Tonga Naval after running out of fuel. Ratu Mara on route to give helping hand.

Anonymous said...

Very good....

Fiji passport holders face additional scrutiny on arrival in Tonga as security is increased .
by fijitoday


johhny groggy said...

Vakaciriloloma na extradition papers ni na lai vakayagataki ga me toilet paper mai Tonga.
Sedition charges vei cei.....Baini...Rama/Aiy..arse.O rau na lewe rua qo na matanitu,sega ni kauwai kina o Tonga baleta era lewe levu na cicivaka tiko na matanitu digitaki mai vei ira na lewe ni vanua.
Kalougata Viti ni sa kacabote na dina.

Anonymous said...

See the cheek Mara boy has in calling for regime change after he had been part of the looting all along. Regime change will involve money, resource of Aus, NZ tax payer. He should for once be remorseful for the part he has played in the calamity he has brought to Fiji and the region. The best he can do is appreciate the kinly and kingly goodwill of Tonga and its people. Lets hope he acquires the wisdom and courage to front the people he wronged and build bridges with them. Publicly demonstrating his remorse to his aunt - Roko Tui Dreketi is a small but important first step. Then follows the verdict of Fiji citizens who would be sceptical of his ways. At the moment Mara boy is still dillusioned in saying "I will lead country back to democracy" and "calling for regime change". His intense hatred for Ai-arse from eloping with the dictator has probably clogged his brain preventing him from thinking clearly! Too much involvement and too many questions unanswered. Sorry Mara boy....is part of the problem and not the solution. He should serioulsy seek pardon from the people now and refrain from trying to be part of the answer as it will only make his way more difficult when he attempts to do the latter!

Anonymous said...

Yep, its great to rid Fiji of feudalism. Keep it up rank. Bring the structure down so that the new Fiji may emerge. That structure of which the Tui Cakau was a part of has been a millstone to the Fijians.You will be the everlasting hero of Fiji if you can clear the pathway.

Anonymous said...

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Therefore, Roko Ului Mara is my friend.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 8.16pm this is not about roko tui dreketi or whatever you talking about..the matanigasau u sayin will come later...this is about fiji. i believe roko ului will help us. tell rewa to present matanigasau to lau and his family first for their part in the 2000 coup when ro lala was the roko tui dreketi. so don't talk smart when you don't know anything....we need TO GET THIS GOVT OUT OR WE WILL ALL SUFFER.

Tuiwainimala said...

Ului, by your statements you open a window to us to learn a bit about your comprehension of the complex international/regional geopolitical implications of what NZ and Aussie can do militarily in Fiji. There are possible implications/complications both for long and short term. Its not as simple as you might think, and if you have been following, previous statements of the two powers you would appreciate that they are averse to interfering militarily given the circumstances of the situation in Fiji.

You should refrain from mouthing off to other regional powers on what they can do, we the Fiji citizens look to you, Baledrokadroka and current senior military personal in Fiji, for what you are going to do to resolve the mess you helped create.

What we want from you as you have promised us is to spill the beans on the regime truthfully and real fast and not to lose momentum of events that have occurred recently.

Fijians are looking to you to see what you can do, and not what NZ and Australia will do.

Please do not overstay and embarass your hosts and put the King in a difficult position.

Tonga wants nothing to do with internal matters in Fiji. We are waiting to hear all the secrets on the illegal regime spilled out.

Anonymous said...

blah blah blah - so far nothing new from Ului and JB.....just the usual comments ....
meanwhile back here in Fiji Kadavu welcomes Frank, Tui Cakau is out for fornicating with a minor and Qoma presents a traditional apology to Frank.
What I am saying is that Ului, JB and Driti didnt do any shit when they had guns.
Why should Aust/ NZ waste their time and money when u soldiers cant even shoot ----- sa levu ga na vosa boidada!!!

Anonymous said...

Sobo da saga tiko mada me moku o kaiyum ra kitaka tale tiko noda turaga bale na vutuki ira tiko na gone lalai.
Sa qai sona ga o Viti.

Anonymous said...

Mara if you do not spill it in a day or two , I would not hesitate to conclude that you have nothing to spill as this was just a stunt to gain sympthy. Otherwise stop wasting time just enjoy Tongan foods.

Anonymous said...

Looks like this Ului is one big lialia ulukau who doesnt understand the complexities of international relations. He committed the coup and wants Aust to act when he falls out. Further, he should not embarrass his hosts and show respect.
Sa dua na tamata ulukau ,,,,ia me caka gona vakacava ni sotia!

Anonymous said...

Ask not what your island can bring to you but what we can bring to Fiji islands!, we must rise!..., rise n stand, its nowwwwww!!!, taciqus, tukaqus tamaqus, kaiqus,luvequs,lewequs..toso mai keiyasi, baravi,sa bau yaqoi, mae na mae,mate ga sa virei!! kaute wainimala, push tailevu! o nadi ko, nadro kwe! catch a fire!!....give us a time our island home!! aching to come back home..blessed is a man who lay down his life for a brother...lets do it!

Anonymous said...

Ului - Sincere Message Turaga.

Be humble in this difficult time and come clean and come fast. There is much more at stake than the title or the mana or money of any individual. Its the future generations of Fiji and the world, how would you be viewed in say 20 years time ? Alongside viorege and aiarse. Take your pick bro. Many dicktators in the global news these days as well. Most certainly if you can make some sincere and humble attempt to reach towards the level your late father Tui Nayau Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara and your most humble mother set as an example, then you are at peace with yourself first, then all of us.

Let the future judge you, not for your past, but for what you can do now. Do not be a burden or kerekere on Tonga or assume any drastic actions from NZ or Aust for now. Do something yourself first to redeem yourself.
Test 1. Fiji Solicitor Gen says you will be given a fair trial, lets see, give it a go. Global media will be there unlike Fiji Sun and Fijidead who have been sold just like the ones in Sukuna park. Their time will come as well incl the pufta pimp khaiyum.

David - Up to you now to make the first REAL move.

Anonymous said...

As a soldier in Fiji's regular force, I can tell you that half our rusting guns at QEB dont work anyway!!!......The bullets and their projectiles are way (years) passed their "Use By" date; Chances are there will be alot of miss-fires. More than half of the Korean K2 rifles dont work due to lack of "Gass Port" parts, and the M16's aren't Zeroed properly for its designated rifleman.....Sad to say but we really are the "Dads Army"!!!.....Even if Australia and NZ were to send forces, we wouldn't do anything to them. why would we!!?? They're our friends and counterparts in overseas missions.

We soldiers still need to feed our families, so we do our jobs. Its our bread and butter, and its all most of us know what to do......Soldiering. IMO!!

Anonymous said...

Oileii!! Anonynous 12.11am. We will surely get tetanus if we get shot by those rusty bullets. God help us all!

What?? said...

What a disgrace that anyone in Fiji would advocate that Australia ban tourists from visiting the country and cut off all aid. Especially this degenerate nobody who benefited from the coup for four and a half years before he "saw the light". Mara deserves everything he gets for trying to drag ordinary people who are struggling to make a living into his fight with Frank and Aiyaz. A total disgrace.

Anonymous said...

A day of peaceful protest is we need. Just to show all the citizen of Fiji who is not happy with current setup. Friday 20th may we should down tool for 24 hrs. Come Fiji let's march together.

Anonymous said...

The VB regime would not have lasted more than 6 months from the coup in December 2006 if the international community, mostly Australia and New Zealand had taken a tough stance against it and had implemented trade bans etc.

But of course they didn't under pressure from unionists and politicians like Mahendra Chaudhry, Felix Anthony and Daniel Urai. These people supported the coup and also benefited from it.

Sure it is always the low income and poor is society that will suffer most from trade bans etc. But they have now been suffering for almost 4 and a half years of leadership under an illegal regime borne out of a coup. So Fiji would have been better off had Australia and New Zealand had taken a tough stance because we would have been out of the coup situation and back to a democratic government and which would have performed better from 4 years ago.

I say trade bans now will cause some suffering which we need to experience anyway in order to gain something good. The suffering will add to what we have been going through for the last 4 and a half years but will yield immediate results like the removal of the VB regime but within 6 months we will gain democracy and improvement stanadard of living for everyone.

I say go for it Australia! Go for it New Zealand! Do no listen to unionists because their leaders are looking only at protecting their interests and personal gains.

Anonymous said...

RE: Anon 12:11 am. Good to have you on board and to know that some of our soldiers feel as trapped and held hostage as we do!

Just don't forget that when you are asked to do something that you KNOW is wrong - if you do it, you are no different than THEM. If you walk away at that point, your soul is clean. If you don't - well then ----. It is understood universally that everyone needs to eat food to sustain their life. Don't forget that the hunger for your soul is an eternal one.

Semi Meo said...

They might as well use BB guns as they look real.

Anonymous said...

@What?? 2:39 AM. Let's get one thing straight: It's NOT only Mara's family's fight with BainiArse. It's the People of Fiji vs. BainiArse. Understood?

SEMI MEO said...

@ to the black "Semi Meo"..luveni yali sega na yacana..rairai sucu tu ga guilecava o Ta mo vakayacani??..esi..de o sega ni kila na nomu Ta..

Again we say, Aust,NZ and US are far too busy..that is why soon our great grandchildren will be slant eyed and caramel Mongolian species.

Anonymous said...

ANON 12.11 AM. Vianaka vakalevu, soldierboy. Not to worry we are with you too. You have to do soldiering to feed your family but we are aming at those 50 BOCIS wanting to VAKATERATERA guarding around BAINIMAGASONA.