10 Oct 2011

Fiji brothers-in-law present dramatically different views on independence day

6:48 pm on 10 October 2011

Fiji has been presented with two starkly different views of the country from members of the same family on the country's 41st anniversary of independence.

President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has called on all Fijians to form a partnership to resolve the challenges facing the country.

He claims the interim government has a mandate for the reform process it began after it overthrew the elected government in 2006.

Ratu Epeli says the government is very clear in its intentions through to its promised elections in September 2014.

He says it has a vision to make Fiji realise its true potential through building a strong nation state to empower its citizens.

But the president's brother-in-law, Ratu Tevita Mara, says a dark cloud hangs over the country.

Ratu Tevita, a former key member of the Commodore Bainimarama regime, escaped to Tonga earlier this year.

He says a reign of terror exists in Fiji, with life ruled at the barrel of a gun.

Ratu Tevita says corruption and poverty are rampant and the promise of elections has no credibility because this would expose the current unlawful rulers to prosecution.