Feature Article

Blake visits Maldives as the country threatens to leave Commonwealth

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 11 September 2012, 07:56 GMT]
The US Asst. Secretary of State, Robert Blake, now on a visit to Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka from September 10 to 14, will be arriving at Male on the 12th from Kathmandu. Timed to his visit, and a hearing from the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group on Tuesday, the Maldivian State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dunya Maumoon, daughter of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, former President of 30 years, has said on last Wednesday that Maldives would likely leave the Commonwealth if not removed from the formal agenda of the Commonwealth's human rights and democracy arm. Ignoring the difference in the cases of Sri Lanka and Maldives some human rights organisations believed that action on Maldives would serve a precedent for action on Sri Lanka. But a power outside of the Commonwealth coordinating Maldives and Sri Lanka would outwit the West and the Commonwealth, observers said.

Blake is likely to make appeasement with both the Maldives and Sri Lanka, on the Commonwealth issue, the observers further said.

“In Male, Assistant Secretary Blake will meet with President Mohamed Waheed, other Maldives officials, and with former President Mohamed Nasheed. He will express U.S. support for all Maldivian parties charting a way forward that respects Maldivian democratic institutions, the rule of law, and the will of the Maldivian people,” said a press release of the US State Department on Friday.

“Assistant Secretary Blake will also hold a roundtable with civil society leaders and give a press conference at the American Corner facility in Male,” the statement further said.

Following early this year's developments in the Maldives and the ousting of Mohamed Nasheed from the position of President, the Commonwealth was insisting an investigation on the allegations that there was a coup against a democratically elected government.

Dunya, now working for Dr. Mohamed Waheed who succeeded Nasheed, says that since the country has appointed a Commission of National Inquiry as prescribed by the Commonwealth and since its report has found no evidence of any mutiny, the country should now be removed from Commonwealth's agenda of human rights and democracy.

Nasheed's representative resigned from the Commission and Nasheed's response was that the report had effectively set a legal precedent under Maldivian law for the overthrow of an elected government through police or mob action.

Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) ministers are due to consider the report in a teleconference on September 11.

But before that Dunya has come out with the threatening:

“Should the Maldives continue to be kept on the CMAG agenda, I have to say that there are a lot of citizens and very senior members of the government who have many serious concerns regarding whether the Maldives will stay on as a member of the Commonwealth,” Dunya was cited by Minivan News, last Thursday.

President Waheed's political advisor Dr. Hassan Saeed went a step further:

“I would now argue that if CMAG does not remove the Maldives from its agenda in its next teleconference on 11th of this month, we should end our relationship with the Commonwealth and look to other relationships that reflect modern realities of the world,” Saeed said.

The arguments raised by Maldives could also be raised by Sri Lanka at the UN and at the Commonwealth if the difference between the cases -the genocide- is not recognized, observers pointed out.

Whether it was Nasheed's government or Waheed's government, Maldives was voting to save Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. Many in the Maldives believe that benefited by the decadence of values with the USA and India, China coordinates Sri Lanka and the Maldives.


Chronology:


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External Links:
Minivan News: Maldives likely to leave Commonwealth if not taken off CMAG agenda: Dunya
U.S. Department of State: Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake Jr. Travels to Nepal, Maldives, and Sri Lanka

 

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