Mara: Who’s Calling Who Mad?

toy soldier white horse
"I see him there on his tall white horse"

The latest press release from Ratu Tevita Mara must be seen as more embarrassing than usual by his more educated supporters.  It certainly outdoes his previous releases for wild adjectives, hyperbole and the misrepresentation of events.


 There is almost a  Shakespearean quality about the release.  I think of Banjuo’s soliloquy “Out, out damned spot” after he murdered Macbeth***, and Churchill’s “We will fight them on the beachheads …  we will never surrender” speech.   I picture Ratu Mara practising in front of his mirror. 

The release focuses on the collapse of the Gaddafi’s regime in Libya, drawing supposedly obvious parallels with Fiji and the kerfuffle over the Methodist Church. It concludes with a call to join the “Viti Revolutionary Forces (VRF).”  Here  are some extracts:

“Together, like the brave and valiant people of Libya, we will remove, in the very near future, the tyrant Bainimarama and his evil, corrupt and brutal regime. And together, we will rebuild Fiji … They will no longer ‘turn the other cheek!’”  

I see him there on his tall white horse leading the virtuous into battle, and, victorious, receiving the accolades of the hoi polloi as he picks up his father’s mantle.

He goes on to praise the Rev Koroi who “defied the military goons that were sent to take him to the RFMF Headquarters for a beating by the tyrant Bainimarama."
In fact, a car had been sent for him to join the other Methodist leaders who were meeting with Government at the Barracks.  And none of those who attended were beaten.   

“This venerable soldier of God prevailed over the tyrant Bainimarama. It was also a victory for democracy. The Dictator Bainimarama and his conman Khaiyum, cancelled the Methodist Conference because the three top Church officials refused to bow down to the military junta. The officials won a victory for democracy.”

At least two of the officials supported the 2000 Speight coup that deposed the democratically-elected government of Mahendra Chaudhry, and went on to support the racist legislation of the Qarase government. 

He says the Methodist leaders 
“were seized by the RFMF and taken to military HQ. I do not know what transpired but I do believe that their dedication to God and to his Ministry was stronger than Bainimarama, his hooligans and their guns. This was another victory for democracy.”

They were not seized and it was  no victory for democracy to have such an influential religious body used for political ends, ends that entrench the power and influence of chiefly elites like Ratu Mara.  It would have been a victory for democracy had the church leadership changed its stance and supported the far more democratic and multi-racial aims of the People’s Charter, that it opposed from the beginning, not on moral but on political grounds. 

Ratu Mara  then spoke directly to people living in Fiji:  
“People of Fiji, the Viti Revolutionary Forces (VRF) have also started their campaign to remove the illegal military junta and to return freedom, democracy and the rule of law to Fiji. Lend your support.
     Stand up and denounce the oppressive and illegal military junta led by the murdering power mad Bainimarama and Khaiyum. Support the Methodist church. Start civil resistance now. Go on leave, distribute confidential documents and ignore orders or lend your support however you can. Satyagraha! 
The mad Bainimarama and villainous Khaiyum are “old hat ” but the Viti Revolutionary Forces is new one.  Does it really exist? Where is it based? What is its support? And who it its Commander-in-Chief? When is he going to call on NATO forces to oust the dictator?

If only Ratu Mara made less dramatic releases. Calmly worded accounts, with fewer condemnatory adjectives and less hyperbole, would have far more impact, at least among educated Fijians, especially if they were supported by facts — or at least a more balanced interpretation of events. 

*** A reader corrects me, correctly. It's a long time since I read Macbeth and acted Banquo's ghost in a school play. The words quoted were Lady Macbeth's and Macbeth killed Banquo. 


Dispensing Dictators said…
You seem in denial like a lot of dictators and their supporters? The Mubaraks and the Gaddafis thought the same thing before they were decimated and humiliated. Saddam hid in a rat hole until he was dragged out, cleaned up and then had his neck stretched. His sons were bulleted. And poor old Osama Bin laden- nice little double tap got him. All dictators go the same way - even if the free world and democracy supporters like Ratu Mara have to wait decades. Bainimarama will go, and his legacy will be one of disgrace for him and his family - that is a certainty old boy.
Flyhalf said…

To underline the stupidity in Mara's comments would be to project his absurd logic and consider the fact that NATO was bombing civilian targets like hospitals, water canals.

Mara's comments is a veiled but empty threat in Fiji's case, to co-opt a RAMSI approach and push to have Aust/NZ planes conduct combat sorties in Suva under a R2P paradigm, so that Mara can ride into town on his stallion, like a deux ex machina ?
Yea yea said…

You constantly paint the picture of a number of Methodist Ministers needing to be targeted because they supported the 2000 coup. I though we where trying to move Fiji forward yet you seem to think anyone who supported the 2000 coup is fair game. I assume you are fine with FICAC being used for this purpose.

The great irony is of course while these ministers and the church are being lectured on the past they are being told to support this government. That is support another COUP !

Frank will hopefully wake up one day and see the irony in his coup to punish tose a coup and his cries to support his coup.
MacDuff said…
In you own phrase, "Dr" Walsh, your "educated supporters" must find this post "more embarrassing than usual". Unless Shakespeare had a special version when you received your "education", there is no character called "Banjo" in Macbeth, nor did he murder Macbeth. And he certainly didn't say "Out damned spot"! As every schoolchild knows, "Out damned spot" was spoken by Lady Macbeth. They also know that Macbeth was a usurper, who claimed the throne through murder and conceit - and eventually met his just reward. So perhaps you might care to cease your snide references to the "educated" - I think you'll find opposition to dictatorship requires no education, merely a moral compass, which you clearly lost long ago.
Sunovertheyardarm said…
I am always reminded of an interesting BBC series, 'Useful Idiots', when visiting this site -

'...The phrase 'useful idiots', supposedly Lenin’s, refers to Westerners duped into saying good things about bad regimes.

In political jargon it was used to describe Soviet sympathisers in Western countries and the attitude of the Soviet government towards them.

Useful idiots, in a broader sense, refers to Western journalists, travellers and intellectuals who gave their blessing – often with evangelistic fervour – to tyrannies and tyrants, thereby convincing politicians and public that utopias rather than Belsens thrived.

In part one John Sweeney looks at Stalin's Western apologists.

In part two he explores how present day stories of human rights abuses across the world are still rewritten....'

Unfortunately the inverse could apply equally to some of the atrocious scaremongering on the anti regime sites.
mmmm said…
Agree Croz, and if only we could get a few facts on Fiji's current government at the same how much they are paying themeselves, auditor reports on military spending etc

But alas we have fools working hard mainly to keep everyone quiet in Fiji which leaves biggers fool to fill the void in overseas media.
Miaw said…
Why is this Tongan citizen constantly interfering in Fiji's internal affairs ???
Anonymous said…
Ului is frustrated. Had he not swim away to Tonga, he would have had a better chance of succeeding against Frank. Poor guy will never be able to come to Fiji unless he comes up with $3M.
The struggling junta said…
You are just making a fool of yourself. You come across as a sad and bitter old man. Face the reality of the inevitable facing the military junta. It will never achieve anything and it will certainly never be given any credibility or recognition. Presure will be maintained on it until it implodes. Everyone knows Bainimarama is not handling the pressure. It is fun to watch him crumble. Come on, lighten up old boy.
sara'ssista said…
no mention of the interim AG's wifes new job...?? I expect we will see the same excuses for other regime spouses, brothers,brothers in law, sisters and children, doing rather well out of the current situation....Presumably again due to the sanctions is it?Par for the course,nothing to see here!!!
Siti said…
We can alway rely on Croz to tell it how it is, and interesting that when the truth is printed the nasty heads of the anti government supports pop up and make comments, truth hurts doesn't it boys.

Fact remains that Croz is right and Mara is out of his depth and if he has any information on government he would have published it, what happened to the 'secret files' he took with him? He has nothing but a bitter memory of what life used to be like before 2000. If he were in Fiji he would be leading the charge against the Methodists and would be first in line to shut them up, his double standards are appalling.

Croz is not the one in denial, its you gang who think (from afar) that you know whats best for Fiji, most if not all of you don't even live here, so why don't you just give it a rest, you cant win and you wont, and whats more when elections come (which they will) and another leader gets in that you don't approve of, then what, you will find another reason to keep up your hopeless battle for 'freedom and democracy'

All of you take a long hard look at what you have become and find something better to do with your sad and sorry lives.

Mara is stupid and badly informed and I wonder who his 'puppet master' is because the guy aint that smart to be thinking this up himself let alone writing it.

Croz, keep it up, the more they comment the more you know you have them on their knees.
Anonymous said…
Don't worry about this Tongan Fiji don't need no chieves no more
sara'ssista said…
Btw, still no defense of who was nominated by the regime for high commissioner to UK. surely not a relative of the military dictator. And again ,aim not 'anti government' , I am anti regime. You know full well. You clearly read to much of the garbage from the regime and their fellow travellers.

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