21 Jun 2011

Col Mara expected to visit Samoa

1:42 pm on 21 June 2011

The former Fiji army colonel Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara is expected to visit Samoa after the prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, issued a statement welcoming him.

In a release, Tuilaepa has congratulated Col Mara for admitting his guilt over his involvement in the 2006 coup and has called for the interim Fiji leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, to do the same.

Col Mara escaped to Tonga and has visited Australia at the start of an international campaign against the Fiji regime and for a return to democracy.

Meawhile, it is not known if he will visit Solomon Islands whose prime minister Danny Philip has denied media reports last week that he declared Col Mara unwelcome.

"No I didn't say that; I didn't say he is not allowed to come to Solomon Islands."

Danny Philip says his government's policy is to be all-embracing to Fiji.