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Archive for Maldives

Newsline: Foreign Secretary announces new UK Embassy in Maldives

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced that the UK will open a new Embassy in Malé, Maldives. More than 100,000 British nationals visit Maldives every year. The new Embassy will improve the UK’s ability to work with the Maldivian authorities on issues like tourist safety and security, and to provide consular support to British tourists. The new Embassy will also reflect the UK’s role as a net security provider in the Indian Ocean Region. In October 2018 the Foreign Secretary announced the biggest expansion of Britain’s diplomatic network for a generation, including 12 new Posts and nearly 1,000 new positions.


Newsline: Russian embassy warns against visiting Maldives

The Russian Embassy in Sri Lanka has recommended Russians to refrain from visiting the Maldives because of unrest in that country, the embassy’s Consular Department whose area of responsibility includes the Maldives told TASS on Tuesday. “A signal has been sent to Moscow with recommendations to refrain from travelling to the Maldives in connection with certain unrest at the political level,” the embassy said. “To date, there have been no obvious threats, but there are preconditions for that.” On February 5, Maldivian President Abdullah Yamin declared a 15-day state of emergency in the country.


Newsline: Maldives denies deal with Indians in Nasheed row

The Maldivian government denied any deal to allow former president Mohamed Nasheed to end his refuge at the Indian embassy in the capital and resume election campaigning without fear of arrest. Presidential spokesman Abbas Riaz said Nasheed walked out of the embassy on Saturday afternoon of his own will and there was no agreement with an Indian mediator who rushed to the Maldives last week to resolve a tense standoff. “There is no deal, absolutely no deal with the Indians or anyone else,” Riaz said, in the government’s first reaction to Nasheed leaving the embassy to resume his political work. Nasheed, 45, sought refuge at the embassy on Feb.13, straining ties between regional power India and its small neighbour Maldives, after an arrest warrant was issued following his failure to attend court.


Newsline: Former Maldives president leaves Indian embassy after ‘deal’

Thanks to India’s intervention, the crisis in the Maldives has blown over with the former President, Mohamed Nasheed, emerging out of the Indian High Commission in Male on Saturday. Fearing arrest, he had sought refuge at the High Commission office on February 13. The former President came out of his temporary home, the office of the first secretary at the High Commission, at 4.15 p.m., and walked on to the streets to a wild welcome by his party men. Though details of the ‘deal’ are yet to be announced, the Maldivian Democratic Party cadre did not seem to care. For them, their ‘Anni’ had come out a bigger leader from the crisis; the Maldivian government led by Mohamed Waheed Hasan had suffered a setback, and that from now they would work harder till the September presidential elections. “The former President had come to the Indian Mission in Male on February 13 on his own and had similarly decided to leave on his own. It is hoped that with this development the former President will resume his social and political life,” said a statement by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. Mr. Nasheed thanked India for the support it had extended to him. “I am hopeful I will be able to continue the political activities and social life. I believe that even on issues that we disagree on, we can reach a compromise with the Maldivian government,” he said.


Newsline: India suggests not to ask Nasheed to leave Indian Embassy

Even as Maldives mounts up the pressure on India by issuing another arrest warrant against its former president Mohamed Nasheed, India said that it was upto Nasheed to decide if he wanted to leave the Indian High Commission in Male. Nasheed is now into his 6th day of stay at Indian Embassy in Maldives capital Male, where he had taken refuge on February 13, after a Maldivian court had issued an arrest warrant against him for not appearing into the court on Feb 10. In spite of Maldives upping the ante, India has said that it won’t ask the former president Nasheed to leave Indian High Commission, reports said. A Maldivian Court on Monday gave time till Wednesday 4 PM to the police for bringing Nasheed before it, prompting them to approach the Foreign Ministry asking it to get in touch with the Indian High Commission. The Maldivian Foreign Ministry has conveyed Nasheed’s court order to the Indian High Commission. Meanwhile, the situation showed no signs of resolution despite efforts at the official level to do so. Both India and Maldives also engaged in a war of words with the former denying that its Mission was being used for holding political meetings to incite violence here.


Newsline: Indian diplomats ‘interfering’ in Maldives

Indian diplomats are “interfering” in the country’s affairs by sheltering former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed in India’s embassy in Male, a senior Maldivian government official said. Nasheed has remained at the Indian embassy since Wednesday after taking refuge there to avoid being arrested over his failure to appear in court last weekend to face charges of abuse of power while he was president. “The fact of the matter is that some individual Indian diplomats are interfering in our internal affairs. This must stop,” a senior government official told AFP, asking not to be named. The official echoed Home Minister Mohamed Jameel’s remarks that no country should prevent a citizen of another country from facing charges. Jameel, in a series of tweets, stopped short of naming a specific culprit, but in a thinly veiled warning asked India to stay out of the affair. An earlier statement purporting to be from the Maldivian Judicial Service Commission (JSC) condemned the actions of India’s envoy to Male.


Newsline: Maldives ex-president to stay in Indian Embassy

Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed will stay in the Indian Embassy in Male until a caretaker government is formed, his party said, despite a government assurance he would not be arrested if left. Nasheed, the Maldives’ first democratically elected leader, who left office last year in contested circumstances, entered the Indian High Commission in the capital on Wednesday as police tried to arrest him in connection with a court case. His supporters, who say Nasheed was ousted last February in a coup, clashed with police outside the mission, the latest such unrest in the Indian Ocean archipelago which is best known as a luxury holiday destination. A court had ordered Nasheed’s arrest after he missed a February 10 court appearance in a case relating to accusations that he illegally detained a judge during the last days of his rule. But a government spokesman said on Thursday Nasheed no longer faced arrest. “Nasheed’s arrest warrant has ceased and he won’t be arrested,” Imad Masood, spokesman for President Mohamed Waheed Hussain Manik, told Reuters. In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland issued a statement urging “all sides to remain calm, reject the use of violence, and avoid rhetoric that could increase tensions.”


Newsline: Maldives ex-leader issues demands from Indian embassy

Former Maldivian leader Mohamed Nasheed, who has taken refuge at the Indian embassy in the capital to evade arrest, has demanded the dropping of charges against 800 party workers, his spokeswoman said Thursday. Mariya Didi also said Nasheed wanted India to take a lead in securing an end to the political crisis in the Indian Ocean atoll nation of of 330,000 Sunni Muslims. In a statement issued on Wednesday night from the besieged Indian diplomatic compound, Nasheed reiterated long-standing calls for his successor Mohamed Waheed to resign and allow a caretaker government to organise the elections. “Waheed should do the right thing and resign from office,” Nasheed said. Nasheed sought refuge at the Indian High Commission as police tried to execute a court order seeking his arrest for failing to turn up at his trial on Sunday. Nasheed had been visiting India at the time. “Mindful of my own security and stability in the Indian Ocean, I have taken refuge at the Indian High Commission in Maldives,” Nasheed wrote on Twitter a few hours after seeking safety in the embassy building on Wednesday. Armed police have been standing outside diplomatic compound. Nasheed has repeatedly claimed that his trial was a politically motivated attempt to prevent him from leading his Maldivian Democratic Party into polls in September. A conviction would disqualify him.


Newsline: China gets land in Maldives to construct embassy

China has been allotted a plot in the heart of the Maldivian capital to open its embassy. Chinese embassy currently works out from a rented complex and the plot has been allotted to it to construct its own building. China had opened its embassy in November last year in a rented building belonging to the family of former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed. China had then said that it was opening an embassy since ties with the Maldives had grown steadily. Chinese tourists constitute the largest chunk of annual visitors to the island chain’s pristine beaches. Only India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh have an established diplomatic presence in the Maldives, whose capital Male only has a population of about 100,000. Most other countries work through their embassies in Sri Lanka, 650 km away.


Commentary: Don’t read too much into China setting up embassy in Maldives

A few days after an Indian was beaten up and robbed in Male, Maldives Foreign Minister Abdul Samad Abdullah assured his interlocutors here of his government’s willingness to ensure the safety of an estimated 23,000 Indians working in far-flung territories of the multi-island country. However, Mr. Abdullah, speaking to The Hindu at a time when the Maldives is in the middle of a political stalemate of sorts, called upon strategic analysts not to drag his country into their vision of an India-China rivalry playing out in the Indian Ocean, because “we are too small.” On Indian strategic analysts making much of China being the first non-South Asian country to open a mission in Male, the Minister’s plea was plaintive — “It is not in the interest of Maldives to be pulled apart. We are too small for that,” he said while describing the opening of the embassy as a “positive thing.” Mr. Abdullah gave a down-to-earth explanation to those suggesting that the embassy was part of Beijing’s ‘string of pearls’ strategy to encircle India — “China you got to recognise is a superpower. It continues to have good ties with most countries including Russia and the U.S., so don’t read anything more.”