Daily Archive: February 6, 2018

Disturbed”, Says India On Maldives Crisis After SOS Call: 10 Points

Exiled former Maldives President Mohammed Nasheed has urged India to send an envoy backed by military to release political prisoners after the government of the Indian Ocean archipelago imposed a state of emergency and arrested two senior judges and a former president. India said it is disturbed by the declaration of a state of emergency in the Maldives, and is carefully monitoring the situation. Best known as an A-list holiday destination, the Maldives plunged into crisis last week after its Supreme Court quashed terrorism convictions against nine leading opposition figures, including the exiled Mr Nasheed, who was the country’s first democratically elected president.

Here are the top 10 developments in the Indian Ocean archipelago:

  1. Maldives President Abdulla Yameen defied the court’s ruling to release the opposition leaders and restore the seats of 12 legislators sacked for defecting from his party, ordering security forces to seize control of the court and arrest the chief justice and another judge.
  2. Mr Yameen, who came to power in 2013 after winning a controversial run-off against Mr Nasheed, has presided over an escalating crackdown on dissent, jailing almost all the political opposition. The Supreme Court ruling gives the opposition the majority in the assembly, meaning they could potentially impeach the president.
  3. It also paves the way for Mohamed Nasheed to return and run for President. Mr Nasheed, who was president from 2008 to 2013, was controversially convicted of terrorism in 2015 and sentenced to 13 years in jail. He was allowed to go to Britain for medical treatment in January 2016. He has lived in exile since and is currently in Sri Lanka.
  4. On Monday, when Mr Yameen sent soldiers to storm the court and arrest judges, the Maldives police also detained the president’s estranged half-brother and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who had sided with the main opposition.
  5. Ahmed Shiyam Maldives military chief is publicly backing Mr Yameen. "The Maldives military will not stand by and watch Maldives go in to a crisis," he said on Sunday, warning he would not obey "unlawful orders" from the Supreme Court.
  6. But as ex-President Mr Gayoom, who ruled for 30 years until elections in 2008, was led out of his house, riot police saluted him, according to the local Maldives Independent website, and analysts have warned his arrest could split the security forces as he still commands deep respect. The emergency declaration gives sweeping powers to security forces and bars parliament from impeaching Mr Yameen. The opposition says it shows Mr Yameen is "desperate."
  7. Mohamed Nasheed sought India’s intervention to resolve the island’s most serious political crisis in years. "On behalf of Maldivian people we humbly request: India to send envoy, backed by its military, to release judges & pol. detainees… We request a physical presence," he tweeted and has also the United States to block financial transactions of Mr Yameen’s government.
  8. India said it is disturbed also by the suspension of constitutional rights of the people of Maldives. The arrest of the Supreme Court chief justice and political figures are also reasons for concern, India said, adding it is monitoring the situation.
  9. Mr Yameen has drawn close to China and Saudi Arabia during his time in office, with both countries investing heavily in the tiny nation. Located near key shipping lanes, the Maldives have assumed greater importance to China after it began building political and economic ties as part of its so-called "String Of Pearls" strategy to build a network of ports in the Indian Ocean region.
  10. Having historically held more clout in the islands, India has sought to push back against China’s growing influence there. India, the United States and Britain have urged Mr Yameen to honour the rule of law and free the detainees.

“Send Envoy, Military”: Maldives Ex-President Urges India Amid Crisis

Colombo : Exiled former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed today urged India to "act swiftly" to help in resolving the ongoing political crisis in the island nation that escalated after President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency and troops arrested the top judge of the country.

The picturesque Indian Ocean archipelago was plunged into chaos on Thursday when the Supreme Court called for the release of nine imprisoned opposition politicians, ruling that their trials were politically motivated and flawed.

The government refused to implement the ruling, prompting a wave of protests in the capital, Male, with angry clashes between police and demonstrators.

Abdulla Yameen yesterday declared a state of emergency. Within hours, Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge, Ali Hameed, were arrested. No details were given about the investigation or any charges.

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who has allied himself with the opposition, was detained at his home.

Mohamed Nasheed, whose Maldivian Democratic Party functions from Colombo, asked for India’s help. He urged India to "act swiftly" to resolve the crisis.

In a statement issued here by the MDP, Nasheed said, "We would like the Indian government to send an envoy, backed by its military, to free the judges and the political detainees, including former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, from their detention and to bring them to their homes. We are asking for a physical presence".

Source: NDTV