16 May 2011

Fiji leader seeks talks with Tonga Prime Minister over escaped soldier

8:19 am on 16 May 2011

Fiji's interim Prime Minister will today make efforts to speak to the Tongan Prime Minister after his country's navy helped a senior military officer, who is charged with sedition, leave Fiji.

The Commodore confirmed the former head of the third Fiji Infantry Regiment was now with the Tongan royal family

He said Lieutenant Colonel Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara was collected from Fiji waters off Kadavu in what he described as a breach of sovereignty.

He urged the Tongan Royal Family, the Prime Minister, the government and the people of Tonga to stop this conspiracy by what he called a handful of self interested individuals.

"The Government intends to maintain its long and harmonious relationship with the Kingdom of Tonga depite the actions of one Fijian. It would be unfortunate for one individual to compromise this historic relationship."

In a message from Tonga, Lieutenant Colonel Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara said he had witnessed from the inside how power had corrupted and how the main players have forgotten their original objectives.

He said he had left Fiji so he could speak openly about the need for a change of regime

The former Fiji army commander, Ratu Tevita Mara, has launched an attack on the country's attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.

Ratu Mara, who is a son of Fiji's first prime minister, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, says in a message on You Tube that the country's leader, Frank Bainimarama, is a puppet of the attorney general.

He says when what he calls the hateful dictatorship has been eradicated all of those who served it will answer to the Fijian people for the part they played.

Colonel Mara says he will gladly submit to their verdict.