Maldives ex-president snubs China, asks India to play role of ‘liberators’

COLOMBO/MALE: Exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed on Wednesday asked India to play the role of “liberators” and intervene militarily to resolve the ongoing political turmoil in the 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,” Nasheed tweeted.

Nasheed, whose Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) functions from Colombo, had appealed for India’s help yesterday.

“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,” Nasheed had tweeted.

In 1988, the then Maldivian president Abdul Gayoom had sought India’s help to defeat a coup by mercenaries. India responded to his call and dispatched troops to the Maldives to restore order in the country. Most of the Indian soldiers returned home after the order was restored in the island nation.

The picturesque Indian Ocean archipelago, which has seen a number of political crisis since the ouster of its first democratically-elected president Nasheed in 2012, plunged into a political chaos on Thursday when the apex court ordered the release of nine imprisoned opposition politicians, maintaining that their trials were “politically motivated and flawed”.

Concerned over the political crisis in Maldives, India, which is monitoring the situation very “closely”, yesterday said it was “disturbed” on the declaration of the emergency by the Maldivian government and described as a matter of “concern” the arrests of the chief justice and political figures there.



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