Maldives crisis an internal matter like Kashmir, India should trust us to resolve it, says Minister Mohamed Shainee

Dismissing allegations levelled by former president Mohamed Nasheed that the Maldives government was moving closer to China, the delegation said their country will never cause “a threat to India” and would still follow its ‘India First’ policy.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Male | Updated: March 14, 2018 11:30 am
maldives crisis, abdulla yameen, maldives, maldives emergency, mohamed nasheed, maldives news, india maldives, maldives china relatins, india maldives relations Abdulla Yameen government says it is still following India First policy.

The political crisis in the Maldives, like the “Kashmir issue”, is an “internal” matter and India should trust the local government to solve the problem on its own, a senior minister of the island nation said Tuesday.

“Why haven’t we gone into the Kashmir issue… and asked to be an intermediary in the issue? Because they are internal matters,” said Mohamed Shainee, a senior minister and chairman of all-party talks to resolve the impasse.

Shainee said that India should trust the Maldives, which “may be a small country”, but is “independent and patriotic”.

Asked about the role the Maldives government expected India to play at this juncture, Shainee said that “a third party” has started negotiations to resolve the crisis. He refused to reveal the identity of the third party, but said it was neither India nor China.

Read | Maldives declines India’s invite for 16-nation naval war games ‘Milan’

Shainee was part of a delegation of ministers who addressed reporters from India at the Maldives capital.

Dismissing allegations levelled by former president Mohamed Nasheed that the Maldives government was moving closer to China, the delegation said their country will never cause “a threat to India” and would still follow its ‘India First’ policy. “Maldives continues to consider India as a big brother, not China,” said Shainee.’

Asked about investments made by China over the last five years and the Maldives’s decision to allow two Chinese warships to dock last year, Shainee said, “India is a very strong country. We will never sound like a threat to India. We will never do that. If the question is being raised on two Chinese warships, we have similarly hosted US and Saudi warships, too.”

Read | Maldives Opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed gets the Delhi cold shoulder

Describing India and China as “well wishers”, Shainee said, “We are eager to do business (with China) but portraying that China is the major investor in Maldives is against facts. India, Saudi Arabia, United States and many international funding agencies are actively part of major infrastructure, tourism projects happening right now.”

The political crisis in the Maldives reached a flashpoint on February 5, when President Yameen declared a 15-day state of Emergency, which was extended by 30 days on February 20. Emergency was imposed after the Maldives Supreme Court ordered the immediate release of high-profile prisoners, including former presidents Nasheed and Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. It also reinstated 12 Members of Parliament who had earlier been stripped of their seats.

Read | India’s statements ignore facts, ground realities: Maldives govt

Minister of Legal Affairs at the President’s office, Aishath Azima Shakoor, claimed that the February 1 order of the Supreme Court was beyond its Constitutional powers. She said that the nation’s Constitution, which is 10 years old, is being reviewed by experts in the European Union and Singapore.

Claiming that there were no major demonstrations during the Emergency period and that routine life was not affected, the ministers said they are open for talks. “But Nasheed and the opposition have been often choosing public statements instead of talks. Nasheed has violated the conditions for third-party negotiations but still we are waiting for a solution through talks without any pre-conditions,” said Shainee.

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    1. S
      Mar 14, 2018 at 9:07 am
      The Maldives Minister s words has inhe threat that if India decides to rock their boat they will rake up Kashmir as an international issue. That he can resort to such open blackmail calls for appropriate response from India. It would not be difficult considering the fact that it survives on tourism.
      1. Deltafire Xmaster
        Mar 14, 2018 at 7:37 am
        In Internstional politics there is nothing like internal matter or external matter . Every big power covertly or openly sabotaged the peace and tranquility of the small states in its pheriphery. The whole idea is to have puppet govt that can be used strategically. threats from big Brother has forced Mohd Shainee to corroborate as internal matter of the sovereign state . After all India has in 1988 has sabotaged coup d etat situation in operation cactus by reinstating Abdul ghayoom govt praised by Internstional poweres . Maldives rebel’s were backed by Tamil Elham ( LTTE ) every one knows on who’s support LTTE grew and become a formidable force to reckon . Perhaps China just wanted to add Maldives to its ambition one belt and one road programme , after establishing itself in srilanka and other smaller states . Careful optimism is necessary when handling internal matter of smaller states any military or coup d etat attempt might culminate into open hostility towards the neighbour .
        1. D
          Dinesh Sampat
          Mar 14, 2018 at 7:24 am
          Just position 4 or 5 destroyers escorted by addotional half a dozen gunboats in the vicinity of Maldives coast line, thus effectively sending a strong message to them that when it comes to India's national security, there will be NO slack and.....also a message to the effect that India will act fast, if such need so arises.
          1. D
            Dinesh Sampat
            Mar 14, 2018 at 5:55 am
            Presence of 3 or 4 destroyers and additional few gunboats in the Maldives region should send a clear message to the Maldivian government that when it comes to India's national security, there will be NO slack..... and the message to be sent: India will act and act fast!
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