INDEPENDENT NEWS

Ratu Tevita Mara's Message to the People of Fiji

Published: Tue 24 May 2011 12:12 PM
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 Fiji.
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 elections.
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.
ECONOMY
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 on FSC.
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?
CORRUPTION
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:*
Part 1
Part 2
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.
* *
Background
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.

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