Friday, June 10, 2011

Fijian military officer trying to enter NZ...

LT Colonel Mara...

Fijian military officer trying to enter NZ...

Fijian military officer, LT Colonel, Ratu Tevita Mara, who fled Fiji, trying to enter NZ...

A pro-democracy for Fiji group based in Auckland is lobbying the Government not to allow a former Fijian military officer into the country.

The Coalition for Democracy in Fiji group has drafted a letter which they will send to the Government today.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ratu Tevita Mara escaped to Tonga last month after being charged with sedition.

Yesterday he arrived in Australia and his next intention is to come to New Zealand – hoping to speak with supporters and New Zealand government officials.

The coalition believes Mr Mara should not be allowed to enter the country due to existing sanctions which don't allow Fijian military personnel to travel here.

Speaking to Radio New Zealand this morning, coalition spokesman Nik Naidu said Mr Mara has only recently been part of the Fijian military.

“We should give him the benefit of the doubt, but that in itself is irrelevant,” said Mr Naidu.

Mr Naidu described Mr Mara as "the worst kind of [Fijian] officer" – one who lead arrests, illegal detentions and tortures. He believed Mara was guilty of this for four years before "sour grapes" made him leave, not the decision to change his ways in favour of democracy.

Mr Naidu would like to see Mr Mara be put before a court.

“How can we entertain a person who is perpetrator of heinous crimes?” asked Mr Naidu.

The letter questions if the Government will relax their sanctions on members of the Fijian military, and if so, when.

Acknowledgements: TV 3 News

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