Report – By the PMC news desk
Fugitive colonel Ratu Tevita Mara has invoked the memory of his late father Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara - and his vision for a “multiracial Fiji” – and accused dictator Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama of assaulting three women dissidents in the early stages of the December 2006 coup.
Speaking in his latest YouTube video attack on the military-backed government, Ratu Mara made a series of bitter and controversial human rights violation allegations against Bainimarama and called for an inquiry.
Replying to an allegation by the regime prime minister that he was “racist”, Mara claimed it was “in the national interest” of all Fiji people to know that Bainimarama was the puppet of Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and “race does not come into it”.
Mara claimed he shared the multiracial vision of his father while Bainimarama was playing the race card.
The runaway former head of the Third Fiji Infantry Regiment shed some light on the the crushing of dissent immediately after the December 2006 coup, allegedly through a strategy of “assaulting and humiliating” anybody too vocal against the the illegal takeover of government.
“If [Bainimarama] was not attacking their bodies, he was attacking their property and organised a number of arson attacks against the people of Fiji,” Ratu Mara alleged.
Mara claimed that Bainimarama assaulted three pro-democracy women advocates – Laisa Digitaki, Virisila Buadromo and Jacquline Koroi – who were taken to the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Suva for “silencing” along with Pita Waqavonovono.
Beatings blamed on Driti
He said the beatings had for a long time been blamed on Brigadier-General Pita Driti, who was on May 4 charged with sedition and attempted mutiny.
Mara, who was also charged with sedition before fleeing to Tonga, apologised on the video to the three women and for his failure to stop the beatings, saying he would answer for this “when I am back in Suva”.
He called on the Commissioner of Police, Brigadier-General Iowane Naivalarua, to follow up his allegations and start an investigation into the beatings at QEB.
Fijivillage.com reported Bainimarama as saying Ratu Mara was “in it from the start” – but he was now changing after running away from the court case facing him.
This was the reaction of the Prime Minister after comments by Ratu Mara that he did not agree with what was happening after the 2006 coup, the radio station website’s Vijay Narayan reported.
Bainimarama said Mara’s comments that he was not supporting the current government was “ridiculous”.
The commodore said people should understand that Mara was a fugitive who was running away from the case filed against him.