February 25, 2011

Driti and Mara fate in Bainimarama's hands

Someone in the regime is getting the idea that it is critical at this time to launch out on a PR gloss-over offensive, and attempt to set the story straight about the "ousted from inner military circle" Pita Driti and Roko Ului Mara.

Surprisingly (well unsurprising really) Driti is corroborating with the regime and states that he was on leave in Levuka all this while, and is now in Suva -- perhaps a CYA tactic to prevent him from being implicated in Ben Padarath's case that is currently before the courts.

Driti, Mara decision after leave taken: Army
February 25, 2011 07:54:20 AM

Fiji army commander and Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama will decide the status of two senior army officers once they have completed all outstanding leave.

Former Land Force Commander Brigadier General Pita Driti and former chief of staff Lieutenant Colonel Tevita Uluilakeba Mara’s position within the military will be decided by Bainimarama, the newly appointed Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga told FijiLive.

“Pita Driti is still on leave ... officially being paid by the RFMF and likewise, Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara. They will complete their leave and then Commander RFMF (Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama) will decide,” he said.

Col Tikoitoga said both officers will be on leave until April because they are owed a lot of leave.
“That’s one of the reasons they were sent on leave,” he added.

When asked if the two were under any investigation, Col Tikoitoga said “No. Not that I know of.”

Driti and Mara went on leave on 25 October, 2010.

Subsequently, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga was appointed Land Force Commander and Major Amani Suliano, 3rd Fiji Infantry Regiment Commander.

Brigadier General Driti was appointed Land Force Commander in January 2007, the third most senior position in the military.

Ratu Uluilakeba Mara, the youngest son of former Fiji Prime Minister and President, the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, was named Land Force chief of staff on February 3 in 2006, succeeding Colonel Meli Saubulinayau, a close relative of his.

This position is the fourth highest in the RFMF, behind that of the Military Commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

Driti told FijiLive that he spent most of his leave in Levuka and is now back in Suva.

By Farzana Nisha

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