MALDIVES ON Thursday brushed aside India’s expression of concern over the 30-day extension of emergency and said New Delhi’s public statement was a “clear distortion of facts.” India on Wednesday had expressed “deep dismay” at Maldives’ decision to extend the state of emergency, and said it did not see any valid reason for its extension.
“The Government of Maldives takes note of the public statements issued by the Government of India that ignore the facts and ground realities with regard to the ongoing political developments in the Maldives. The assertion by the Government of India that the extension of the State of Emergency by the People’s Majlis was unconstitutional is a clear distortion of facts, which ignore the Constitution and Laws of the Maldives,” the Maldives government said in a statement on Thursday.
On Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “It is our sincere desire to see that the democracy in Maldives is restored. This is also the desire of the people of Maldives. We do not see any valid reason for extension of the State of Emergency.”
He also urged Maldives government to release the Chief Justice and a Supreme Court judge, political prisoners, and restore democracy.
This came two days after the Maldives government led by President Abdulla Yameen extended the State of Emergency, and a day after Indian ambassador in Male, Akhilesh Mishra, on Wednesday met Maldives Foreign Secretary Ahmed Sareer and expressed New Delhi’s “deep disappointment” at the extension by 30 days.
Hours after Mishra had met Sareer, the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi on Wednesday that the manner in which the extension was approved by the Majlis — the Maldives’ parliament — is a “matter of concern”.
This was their second meeting since the Maldives imposed emergency on February 5.
They had met on February 16, when Mishra had asked when the Maldives government intends to end the emergency. At that point, he was assured by Sareer that the Yameen government has the “intention” to end the emergency at the earliest.
However, on Tuesday, Majlis decided to extend the State of Emergency.
About the extension of the Emergency, the Maldives Opposition has pointed out that Yameen failed to gain the constitutionally mandated quorum in parliament to vote on the State of Emergency decree. The Opposition has declared the emergency “void” and the extension as “illegal”.
The Maldives government statement on Thursday said, “There is no doubt that the Maldives is experiencing one of the most difficult periods in the history of the nation. It is therefore important that friends and partners in the international community, including India, refrain from any actions that could hinder resolving the situation facing the country.
“The Government of Maldives reiterates its firm commitment to work closely with the international community, including India, to address the concerns they might have.