Fiji lashes out at NZ for offer to grant asylum to fugitive officer

08:02, May 25, 2011      

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Fiji's Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama on Tuesday lashed out at New Zealand for its offer to grant political asylum to fugitive Fijian top officer Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara.

Bainimarama made the denunciation in an interview with local radio FijiLive in response to New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key's suggestion that Mara may be granted political asylum by New Zealand, while promising that the travel sanction against Mara will be lifted.

It is sad to see that the New Zealand government wants to further strain its relations with Fiji by taking this action, Bainimarama said.

Bainimarama also lashed out at New Zealand for believing Mara's comments on 2014 polls as RadioNZ had quoted Mara as saying that the Fijian government has no intention of going to the polls in 2014 and it is just a ploy to soften international sanctions.

"I said elections will be held in 2014 so it's going to happen, " Bainimarama said, adding "Don't listen to him (Mara), he is not a soothsayer, he is a little kid who doesn't know what is happening around him."

Bainimarama denounced New Zealand for continuing to block a number of Fijian athletes from entering the country to take part in tournaments.

Source: Xinhua
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