26 Apr 2004

Fiji political party leader says Ratu Mara betrayed by those who should have stood by him

8:40 pm on 26 April 2004

The leader of Fiji's pro-coup Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua party says the removal of Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara from the Presidency during the May 2000 coup was a betrayal by those who should have stood by him.

Radio Legend says the Lands Minister and Tui Cakau, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, made the comment in Parliament.

"he conceded to their demands not because it was the right thing to do but because he felt that his tenure was no longer tenable. This was indeed so because the confidence he required from them in view of the constitutional framework was no longer there as those who should have stood by him did otherwise. Those who have betrayed the late president are still out there."

They know themselves. They know who they are and only time, let us hope, will give them their just reward

Ratu Naiqama has called on Fiji's leaders to finish what Ratu Mara had started and achieve a country free of corruption.

Meanwhile regional dignitaries have begun arriving for Ratu Mara's state funeral service in Suva on Friday.

A representative from Britain's House of Lords is also expected.