9 Jun 2011

Fiji's Mara keen to visit Fiji pro-democracy groups in NZ

10:39 am on 9 June 2011

Former Fiji military commander, Lieutenant Colonel Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, says he is keen to visit New Zealand to with meet with Fiji pro-democracy groups in the country.

Colonel Mara escaped to Tonga after being charged with sedition in Fiji and has applied for a travel visa to New Zealand.

New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, says Colonel Mara is on a list of people banned from entering but he could receive an exemption.

Mr McCully says it will be several days before a decision is made on Colonel Mara's visa application.

Colonel Mara says he only wants to enter the country briefly.

"For a moment, just a few days just to meet the back to democracy people. If there is a chance to meet New Zealand government officials then I will take that opportunity."

Lieutenant Colonel Ratu Tevita Mara.