Nasheed snubs China; asks India to play role of 'liberators'

Colombo/Male
7 Feb 2018

Exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed today asked India to play its role of "liberators" and intervene militarily to resolve the ongoing political turmoil in Maldives, in a rebuke to China which has opposed military intervention and called for dialogue to resolve the crisis.

China has warned against any military intervention in the Maldives, saying such a move would further complicate the situation in the island nation where embattled President Abdulla Yameen, who is closely allied with Beijing, declared a state of emergency on Monday and arrested two top judges. "Saying 'resolve things internally' is akin to asking us to escalate the revolt, which can lead to chaos. Maldivians see India's role positively: in '88 they came, resolved the crisis, and left. They were not occupiers but liberators. This is why Maldivians look to India now," the exiled leader tweeted. Nasheed, whose Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) functions from Colombo, had appealed for India's help on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, The Maldives President today welcomed a Supreme Court move to reinstate the convictions of high- profile political prisoners after he arrested two top judges and declared a state of emergency, plunging the upmarket holiday paradise into chaos. President Abdulla Yameen attracted international censure for his refusal to comply with last week's shock Supreme Court order to release his jailed political opponents and to quash the conviction of Mohamed Nasheed.
Exiled Opposition leader Nasheed has said he will run against Yameen in Presidential elections due later this year, and the court's ruling had appeared to pave the way for his return to the honeymoon islands. But late on Tuesday the remaining three judges reinstated his controversial 2015 terrorism conviction and reversed their earlier order to free eight other political prisoners.