February 10th, 2012
Email this page

Maldive crisis: India quits sitting on the fence

Nasheed former president of Maldives Male: Mohammed Waheed Hassan the new president of Maldives is said to have assured that the ousted ex-president Mohamed Nasheed will not be arrested, unless it becomes absolutely necessary for Mr Nasheed’s personal safety. Yesterday an arrest warrant was issued against Mr Nasheed by a criminal court.

However, it is unclear what the charges against the former president might be. Senior officials in Mr Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) say there is also a warrant for the arrest of his former Defence Minister, Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu.

Mr Nasheed said that if arrested that he would calmly accept it, as he had done 27 times before when former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was in power. Reports say that his wife and daughters have already fled to Sri Lanka. Bandula Jayasekara, the Sri Lankan presidential spokesman, confirmed the safe arrival of Mr Nasheed’s family. Mr Nasheed meanwhile, has called for an early election and declared that he had no intentions of leaving the country.  “I’m not thinking about leaving the country … If I leave the whole country will go to the dogs.The ballot should decide, not battles,” he said. Exuding confidence Mr Nasheed said he was optimistic about a win in the 2013 elections.

Nasheed’s party insisted his ouster was engineered by rogue elements of the police and supporters of the country’s former autocratic leader, whom Nasheed defeated in 2008. Others blamed Islamic extremists.

A United Nations delegation is also in Male on a three-day visit and is hoping to work out a peaceful solution, something that the US too has stressed upon.

India, meanwhile, has a plan ready for any possible military development in the island nation. Indian navy forces have confirmed that they are on standby, primed for movement if required.

A top Indian Foreign Office official is flying to Male today. Mr Ganapathi, Secretary (West), MEA, will hold consultations with a wide range of stakeholders in The Maldives in an attempt to bring all players to the negotiating table and sort out outstanding issues. Mr. Ganapathi will meet the United Nations team, which arrived here last night.

“We are in touch with all concerned,” said the officials about Indian High Commissioner Dnyaneshwar Mulay meeting both Mr. Nasheed and Dr. Waheed to counsel restraint by their party cadres. The third person who would have a bearing on the situation, Mr. Nasheed’s predecessor Abdul Gayoom is said to be in Malaysia and is reported to be unwilling to return immediately.

Indian High Commissioner to The Maldives, Dnyaneshwar Mulay, met both Mr. Nasheed and Dr. Waheed yet again on Thursday to defuse the crisis. When asked about his meetings, he said both leaders were aware of the situation and also the need not to precipitate it. “India is prepared to handle any eventuality,” he said. He also assured that all Indians were safe.



Press ctrl+g to toggle between English and Malayalam.