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Pacific: Ratu Tevita meets with Prime Minister Malielegaoi

Ratu Tevita meets with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

June 19, 2011 - Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi met with former Fiji colonel Ratu Tevita Mara at the Hyatt Hotel in Canberra, Wednesday morning where the Samoan delegation was staying.

Mara requested a meeting with the Prime Minister through Samoa’s High Commission office in Canberra. “He wanted to meet with me and I was interested in what he had to say,” said Tuilaepa.

The Prime Minister was presented with the 10-point democratic transitional plan put together by the Fiji Democracy Movement in Australia and promised he will look at it.

“From what I’ve seen it’s a very simple and peaceful plan to bring Fiji back on the road to democracy. I’ve always maintained that a solution to the political crisis in Fiji – and the lack of democratic government there - has to come from the Fijian people themselves. It may take time, but that is the Pacific Way. It means all of us in the Pacific need to be patient. This document is a sensible initiative. It’s a good head start.

“Bainimarama must now accept that in the real world, the business of administering the complex affairs of government is not plain-sailing compared to just running a military. He ought to cease this challenge now and return to the barracks where he belongs.

“He has had enough time to realize the hopelessness of his military regime as an option of replacing the constitutionally-elected government. The international community is alienated and almost all the sources of help have been closed.

“There are indeed many many educated, talented and capable officials in Fiji who can take over the administration of government affairs any time, without a problem.

“Ratu Tevita Mara’s admission of guilt in his involvement with the illegal overthrow of the government and his subsequent efforts to make amends is praiseworthy. Bainimarama should also do what Tevita has done.”

During the brief meeting, Ratu Tevita briefed the prime minister on his current situation and made a formal request to visit Samoa.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa accepted.

“We have received envoys from the Fiji military government in recent years and I see no problem with Ratu Tevita visiting Samoa.”

On the travel sanctions issued by Australia and New Zealand governments on the Fiji regime and military personnel, the Prime Minister said,
“If the military regime is complaining about the travel sanctions, then it must be working. Ordinary Fijian citizens, as observed, are not affected.


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