In Message to India, Maldives Says No Threat Of Invasion, Talks Sovereignty

In Message to India, Maldives Says No Threat Of Invasion, Talks Sovereignty

In Message to India, Maldives Says No Threat Of Invasion, Talks Sovereignty

NEW DELHI: Maldives President Abdulla Yameen’s government on Tuesday served a sharp warning against the many calls for Indian military intervention to resolve the crisis in the tiny island nation, announcing that his country had not sought military intervention and it “firmly believes that India would not act on any such calls”.

“We would like to assure all our beloved citizens that Maldives does not have to fear for its independence or sovereignty and that the Government would not give any opportunity to anyone to threaten the country’s sovereignty,” the statement said.

It added that there was “no threat to Maldives from being invaded by foreign military”.

The strongly-worded Maldivian Defence Ministry statement comes days after the Chinese Foreign Ministry warned the international community including India to keep its hands off the Indian Ocean archipelago which Beijing had underlined should be allowed to resolve its internal issues.

Tuesday’s statement is also seen as a reflection of President Yameen’s success in consolidating his authority and gaining a clear upper hand in the political crisis.

President Yameen’s cabinet colleague Dr Mohamed Shainee, who had travelled to Saudi Arabia as the president’s envoy also, had also advised New Delhi to track the developments but steer clear of getting involved militarily.

“We have in the past sorted out our problems ourselves and we have the capacity to sort it out still… India is our closest neighbour and India should be concerned. But India should allow us to function independently and sort these issues ourselves,” Dr Shainee told NDTV in an exclusive interview.

The Minister also added that “China also has a lot of interest in Maldives” in terms of their development projects in the island.

The statement “condemns all such action (calls for intervention) which constitutes a threat to the nation’s independence and national security” and says these were intended to “cast doubt upon the excellent relationship India and Maldives have enjoyed”.

New Delhi, along with the US, UK and the United Nations, last week condemned imposition of emergency by President Yameen after a top court ordered his government last week to release nine prominent opposition leaders including the exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed. Mr Nasheed, like many opposition leaders, have been urging New Delhi to send in the military.

Two top judges who delivered the verdict have also been arrested.

India, like the US and the United Nations, wanted President Yameen to roll back these steps and restore democracy.

President Yameen has instead gone full steam and pressed bribery charges against the Supreme Court judges, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and other lawmakers arrested.

Over the past week, a much-diminished Maldivian Supreme Court has withdrawn its judgment to release opposition leaders and stripped judges of their power to hear any cases individually.

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