Message to the People of Fiji
Statement – By Lt. Col. Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, Commander of the 3FIR
People of Fiji, I am today speaking to you all about the future of our beloved Nation.
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.
The Appeals Court Ruling in April 2009, made it clear the actions of RFMF was unlawful and that our 1997 Constitution
was the supreme law of the land. At that juncture, we had the opportunity to revert back to the path of constitutional
democracy and the rule of law.
Sadly, this was not in the best interest of a handful of corrupt and scheming advisors of the Dictator Bainimarama. The
close group of Bainimarama and Khaiyum swiftly decided to abrogate the constitution and impose indefinite self rule over
International pressure including those from NZ, Australia, US, the EU and the Commonwealth poured in after the
constitution was abrogated.
It was then, that Khaiyum, hatched a deceitful plan to come up with a so-called roadmap leading to the promised 2014
These developments began to trigger senior officers of the RFMF to ponder about where this path set by Khaiyum was
actually leading our nation. During the ensuing period, Bainimarama started to drift closer to Khaiyum and ignored the
advice and recommendations of the Military Council.
By mid 2010, Khaiyum and a handful of advisors which includes a former High Court Judge had completely indoctrinated the
Dictator with the Khaiyum’s plan to rule Fiji indefinitely.
People of Fiji, may I remind you all about the first promise made by the Dictator to hold Free and Fair Elections in
March 2009. That promise was made to the EU and the Pacific Island Forum.
The Dictator often laughed about this in private and he made that promise with no actual intention of honouring it. Just
like his first promise, the 2014 Elections will *never *be staged in Fiji. It is only a ploy to soften the international
community from the smart sanctions and extract as much loans from donor agencies to sustain the cruel dictatorship until
they could for self -interested ambitions.
In the past four years, our economy has contracted consistently. The GDP growth for 2007 – 2010 was negative.
The 2011 economic forecast by Reserve Bank is around 2.7% but as usual this is to mislead the People and give them false
hope and ignores the perils of our seriously depressed and sliding economy.
Our inflation is running in double digits. Poverty has gone from 30% to 60%, Sugar production down from an average of
300,000 tones to 130,000 tonnes. The FSC is virtually bankrupt and the Dictator refuses to release the Delloite Report
FNPF has lost $800 million in bad investments under Bainimarama watch and recently announced severe changes to pension
and withdrawal policies which will trigger hardship of the senior citizens.
Investments are low and business community harassed by the senseless Commerce Commission on a daily basis.
Fiji’s national debt has gone to nearly $4 billion after the recent $500 million bond with the contingent liability of
insolvent companies like FSC. This is close to staggering 80% of the GDP.
These are clear and sure signs of an economic crisis created by a Finance minister with limited education who hardly
understands the speeches prepared for him by Khaiyum. He just reads them and pretends to be in control.
The question is how much more can we allow the self-imposed vultures to raid the public purse?
Let me now briefly shed some light on the rampant corruption that has became the hallmark of the Bainimarama regime.
In order to stifle and cover up the corrupt dealings of the regime, the reports of the Auditor General on government
accounts since 2007 has been stopped from public scrutiny. This includes the special report of the $200,000 leave
compensation of the Dictator.
There are other independent audit reports such as the Ernst and Young Report on FNPF’s Natadola investments which have
been concealed to hide the rot of Khaiyum and Bainimarama deals.
You would recall that Khaiyum in 2010 sold his Barry Road property to Tapposs for $860,000 when the property was merely
worth $360,000. As a return favour, the 2011 budget saw products mainly sold by Tappoos made duty free to boost sales.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the salaries of the two man running fiji have been a subject of interest. Nur Bano Ali who owns an
accounting firm presently administers payment of ministerial salaries. I am privy to information that the two are being
paid salaries to the tune of $700,000 annually under the pretext of holding several ministerial portfolios.
This is daylight robbery.
People of Fiji, let me say that the 2006 coup objectives are no longer any part of the Regime plan. They are now
indulging in unprecedented level of self-enrichment never seen under any previous government.
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 by Khaiyum and Bainimarama.
Please share this with all people you meet and work with. Share it with your family. Once we are united, we will remove
this cruel and self serving regime for good. They all have to face justice when we oust them.
God Bless Fiji.
23 May 2011
*To see the video of this statement plea click on the following link:*
Bio-data of Ratu Tevita Kapaiwai Lutunauga Uluilakeba Mara
Ratu Tevita Kapaiwai Lutunauga Uluilakeba Mara is a Fijian career soldier, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel as of
early 2006. On 3rd Feb, 2001 he was named Army Chief of Staff succeeding Colonel Meli Saubulinayau, a close relative of
his. This position is the fourth highest in the Fijian Military, behind that of the Military Commander, Commodore Frank
Bainimarama, Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff RFMF Brigadier General Mohamed Aziz and the Land Force Commander
Brigadier General Pita Driti. Mara held the position for several months, before he was appointed Commanding Officer of
the Third Infantry Regiment, a key position in the Fiji Army as he controls the infantry division.
In December 2006 The Republic of Fiji Military Forces took control of Fiji in bloodless coup. The army had a strict plan
which was te remove corruption and corrupt politicians and to return to barracks within a year. Lieutenant Colonel
Tevita Uluilakeba Mara was in charge of the 3 FIR on that day and for the next 4 years.
He witnessed from the inside how power has corrupted the key players in the regime and how now they have forgotten their
original objectives as they desperately cling to power. Colonel Mara has left Fiji so that he can speak freely about the
need to for regime change in his beloved Fiji.