Sunday, July 25, 2010

National Day of Maldives

Maldives is an island consisting of a group of atolls in the Indian Ocean. The Maldives is located south of India’s Lakshadweep islands and about seven hundred kilometers southwest of Sri Lanka. The name “Maldives” is derived from the Sanskrit maladvipa, meaning "garland of islands," or from mahila dvipa, meaning, “island of women.” Maldives is the smallest Asian country in both population and area. With an average ground level of 1.5 meters above sea level, it is the lowest country on the planet. Its highest point is only 2.3 meters – the lowest highest-point in the world.

Maldives was originally a Buddhist nation; Islam was introduced in 1153. It became a Portuguese (1558), Dutch (1654), and British (1887) colonial possession. On July 26, 1965, Maldives obtained independence from Britain and in 1968, the Sultanate was replaced by a Republic. However, in 38 years, the Maldives has seen only two Presidents, although recently, political restrictions have loosened somewhat.

The backbone of the Maldivian economy is made up of tourism and fishing. The country’s shipping, banking, and manufacturing sectors are growing at a considerable pace. Among the South Asian nations, Maldives has the second highest per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at around US$4,000. Major trading partners include India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.

We congratulate the people and government of Maldives led by H.E., President Mohamed Nasheed, on the occasion of their National Day. We wish them all the best and success in all their endeavors.


Politics spark trouble in paradise

Luxury holiday destination Maldives embraced Western-style multi-party democracy in 2008 amid high hopes for rapid reforms, but two years later the usually peaceful paradise is in deep trouble.

The country's first free presidential vote has led to political deadlock and a constitutional crisis, threatening instability at a time when rich foreign tourists are once again flocking to its stunning atolls and white beaches.

The Maldives was hit hard by the global economic downturn, leading to a public finance crisis for newly elected president Mohamed Nasheed, 43, who was a political prisoner under the former regime.

He took office in 2008 promising privatisation, an end to corruption and economic prosperity, but now finds himself locked in a power struggle with the parliament.

The economy contracted by four percent last year and forced him to seek a 92.5-million-dollar bailout from the IMF.

"He came to power raising expectations to unrealistic levels," a Western diplomat in Colombo said. "He finds himself a victim of his own rhetoric. He will have to fight hard to retain his hold on power."

Nasheed's cabinet resigned en masse on June 29 saying it could not carry out its work because the opposition-controlled parliament was blocking every initiative.

Since then, Nasheed has reappointed the ministers, but the parliament is refusing to ratify them. Meanwhile, police have arrested several opposition lawmakers, further antagonising Nasheed's adversaries.

"The bottom line is Nasheed should go," joint opposition spokesman Mohamed Shareef said in an interview with AFP in Colombo this week.

The seeds of today's impasse go back to the 2009 parliamentary election when the People's Party (DRP) led by the man Nasheed beat for the presidency, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, won a majority.

Although it gained control of the legislature, the DRP fell short of a two-thirds majority it would need to impeach the president. At the same time, Nasheed cannot dismiss the assembly until it completes its full five-year term.

The result has been total deadlock.

"There are glitches in the constitution that allow a simple majority in parliament to obstruct the core functions of the executive, such as raising taxes and providing subsidies," the president's spokesman Mohamed Zuhair said.

The squabbling has now hit the streets. Daily protest marches are reported from the highly congested capital Male in a throw-back to 2003, when violent pro-democracy demonstrations first erupted.

In a worrying development for the Maldives -- which depends economically on a steady influx of wealthy tourists -- both the US and Britain warned their nationals this week to be wary of demonstrations in the capital.

US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake travelled to Male on Thursday for a day of talks with the government, as well as opposition figures, as Washington attempts to resolve the deadlock.

The Maldives has a highly strategic airport in the southern island of Gan, which is just 450 miles (735 kilometres) north of the US military base of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

Gan was a staging post for Britain during World War II. Male has always resisted foreign pressure, especially during the height of the Cold War, to allow any military presence at Gan, which is now an international airport.

The Maldives was a British protectorate till 1965. An Islamic sultan ruled the country till 1968, when the country adopted a one-party presidential system. Gayoom became president 10 years later.

Now 72, Gayoom was Asia's longest serving leader when he stepped down in 2008 to make way for Nasheed. He is accused of rights violations but is also credited with turning the Maldives into an upmarket tourist paradise.

Anti-Gayoom riots in 2003 accelerated the pro-democracy movement that swept Nasheed, a former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience, to power in 2008.

Nasheed has since raised his profile abroad with a series of stunts aimed at attracting attention to global warming and its impact on his low-lying archipelago.

In October, Nasheed and his ministers donned scuba gear to hold an underwater cabinet meeting to highlight the threat posed by rising sea levels.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Maldives Market Tapped by CableNET, Harmonic

Harmonic (News - Alert) has announced that its digital video processing and delivery products have been deployed by CableNET, a cable TV provider in the Republic of Maldives, for the first high definition and near video-on-demand network in the Maldives.

CableNET serves 100,000 customers through its cable service in the capital city of Male and surrounding islands, and via a multichannel multipoint distribution service throughout the rest of the country.

Harmonic officials say they provide "the digital infrastructure to run simultaneous cable and MMDS services to the entire country with a single bandwidth-efficient MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) headend," making it possible, as they say, for CableNET to be "the first operator in the Maldives to provide MPEG-4 SD and HD, nVOD and digital channel mosaic services."

To power the end-to-end digital infrastructure for the new service, called Medianet, CableNET has deployed a range of Harmonic video and edge processing products, including ProView 7000 and 2900 integrated receiver/decoders to receive the channel feeds from the satellite.

There are also Ion AVC encoders and the ProStream 1000 stream processing platform compress and multiplex the video signals for distribution, as well as the ProStream 8000 digital mosaic product to create multi-channel mosaics.

And Harmonic's NMX Digital Service Manager controls the entire digital headend.

"The advanced digital processing technology and superior video quality provided by Harmonic were essential in building our new Medianet hybrid cable/terrestrial service," said Ahmed Shafeeu, managing director at CableNET. "We needed a bandwidth-efficient system that did not compromise on quality for long haul, inter-island transmissions.

"Harmonic's end-to-end digital stream processing and delivery solutions are ideal for CableNET, providing a high quality yet cost-effective platform that builds upon their existing delivery infrastructure," said Stalin Jekash Simson, director of Regional Sales, India, at Harmonic.

CableNet has also launched services in the Southern Atolls of Addu and FuahMullah, and is continually exploring other markets around the country.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Maldives democracy must not go backwards

The British tourists who come to the Maldives' beaches are unlikely to know about the Foreign Office's warning this week to steer clear of large political gatherings. But the country's two-year-old government is in crisis. The resignation en masse of President Mohamed Nasheed's cabinet at the end of June created a constitutional crisis, leaving the Maldives without a government for two weeks. The president then unconstitutionally reappointed his cabinet without reference to parliament. Opposition MPs were arrested and only released after a prolonged appeal to the supreme court – after which the governing party called for demonstrations in an effort to make the judges change their mind.

Many Maldivians rejoiced in 2008 when the country held its first fully democratic presidential election following 30 years of suppression, torture and censorship under President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Nasheed came to power carrying the hopes of the nation with him that it could achieve full democracy. This was followed a year ago by the first democratic elections to the parliament. I was a candidate in the first round of the presidential election, and the votes of my supporters decisively contributed to Nasheed's majority in the second round.

In the same way that a democratic South Africa sent a signal to the world that Africa was changing, the Maldives sent a signal that the Muslim world was changing. Despite the difficulties democracy faces in places like Afghanistan, the Maldives were a powerful demonstration that such transition could be achieved peacefully. Most crucially this was delivered by Maldivians for Maldivians and not at the behest of American foreign policy. That, too, sent an important message to many other Muslim countries debating their futures that peaceful campaigns to achieve democracy and human rights could work.

However, the Maldives is now again facing a serious challenge to our hard-won democracy less than two years after Nasheed came to power, because he did not win a parliamentary majority. The Maldives constitution establishes a clear separation of powers between president and parliament, but now Nasheed is attacking the right of parliament to effectively scrutinise the executive in a way that he would no doubt have similarly criticised his predecessor for.

The Maldives parliament should be allowed to do its job. It is debating important issues such as the foreign ownership of our international airport and seeking accountability from members of the president's cabinet. However, we now see opposition MPs being arrested illegally, the army being deployed on the streets and unrest in the capital, Male. Nasheed is a former Amnesty International "prisoner of conscience" – yet he has threatened his own parliament and arrested MPs under laws that he himself opposed when he went through his own struggle.

The international community must now play a key role in supporting the right of the Maldives parliament to hold the executive to account. The European parliament has expressed concern about the situation and it has required the intervention of the Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapakse, to bring the two sides together. William Hague, the British foreign secretary, should intervene: the Maldives are a former British protectorate and last year over 100,000 Britons visited the islands, making Britain the country's largest tourist market. Nasheed is very close to the Conservative party and was the international guest speaker at their conference last year. The Conservatives have provided him with support in the past, including training activists from his party.

In order to secure continued respect for the president's role, Nasheed needs to demonstrate full respect for the Maldives' other institutions. This is the only way to honour the struggle for democracy to which many believed the president had been totally committed. Two years ago, some in the international community hailed Nasheed as the Mandela of the Maldives because of the way in which he forgave his predecessor, who had tortured and imprisoned him. The tragedy for the Maldives, and for the wider Muslim world, would be for him to take the country backwards to Gayoom's time.


UN in fresh bid to salvage international deal on climate change

Campaigners welcome plans to amend the way Kyoto protocol resolutions are passed

Climate change campaigners yesterday welcomed UN plans to amend the way changes to the Kyoto protocol are made in an effort to salvage negotiations on a new international deal.

Under the plans, countries could be forced to accept decisions made by a majority of members. Currently, no resolution can be passed by the group without full agreement.

The UN's suggestion shows its acceptance that, after two years of deadlock, there is little chance the body will reach a global deal to reduce greenhouse emissions and tackle global warming in November in Cancun, Mexico – the next time world leaders will meet to hammer out a follow-up to the Kyoto protocol.

"It reflects the degree of desperation – and justifiable desperation – on the part of the UN," said Mark Lynas, an adviser to the Maldives government at the Copenhagen summit last year.

"It shows the UN now recognises that we're in a situation of almost total deadlock and that the current process is not working or helping. The formal negotiations are not getting anywhere."

If the UN's suggestions are adopted, decisions will be forced through if four-fifths of the protocol vote in favour, after all efforts to reach agreement by consensus have been exhausted. The amendments would come into force after six months.

"It is surprising and a big, big deal that the UN is suggesting such considerable reforms as a change in the consensus rules," said Lynas.

In a further attempt to galvanise the climate change body into motion, the UN also suggested that countries could be forced to opt out of any amendments, as opposed to the current arrangement whereby they must explicitly agree to any decisions tabled.

The amendment, which will be presented in Bonn in August, reads: "An amendment would enter into force after a certain period has elapsed following its adoption, except for those parties that have notified the depositary that they cannot accept the amendment."

But Lynas warned that any changes to the current consensus situation would cause "fury, angst and consternation". It could, he said, exacerbate the deep mistrust between rich and poor countries that has already bedevilled the global climate talks.

"Countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba will claim to feel sidelined by this alteration in the rules," he said. "But the central question is whether or not America and China agree on the amendment because the world can't go ahead without those countries."

Ed Miliband, the shadow energy secretary, acknowledged that the current deadlock has to be broken. "We know there needs to be reform of the UN process around tackling climate change," he said. "We saw at Copenhagen how some countries blocked progress and we can't allow that to happen again."

The amendment was welcomed by Farhana Yamin, research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.

"The stalemate in negotiations has gone on for 15 years," she said. "This consensus arrangement is an extraordinary and ridiculous anomaly in the make up of Kyoto that exists in few other UN organisations.

"This is a positive way of forcing laggard countries who hold out and play their veto hand the whole time, to engage in constructive talks," she added. "Under this new system, they will realise that unless they are constructive, they will lose their voice altogether."

The third amendment suggested in the same UN paper to break the deadlock is for the Kyoto protocol to be extended after the deadline runs out on 31 December 2012.

But, the paper added, by the time all countries agree to this, there will still be a gap between the ending of the current commitment period and the start of the extension period.

It would also fail to solve the problem identified by the UN climate chief Yvo de Boer, who recently admitted that the pledges made so far by countries to cut emissions fall far short of what was needed to avoid catastrophic global warming.


U.S., U.K. Issues Advisories Against Travel To Maldives Capital

The United States and the U.K. issued Wednesday travel advisories to their respective citizens, warning them against traveling to Male, the capital of the Maldives, in view of the violent street protests triggered by a political crisis.

Since last month, a bitter power struggle between President Mohamed 'Anni' Nasheed and the opposition parties is on in the Indian Ocean archipelago-nation. Last week, more than nine police officers and six civilians were injured in several street demonstrations in Male.

In separate warnings issued online, Britain and the U.S. noted that demonstrations in Male could spiral out of control and warned visitors to avoid large political gatherings and state buildings.

"The demonstrations have not targeted foreigners, and there have not been any demonstrations in the resort islands or outside of Male," the U.S. embassy in Colombo added.

Maldives, an upmarket tourism destination, is famous for its beaches and turquoise waters and most tourist resorts are located outside capital Male. Most of the tourists travel straight from the island's airport to their resorts without going to the capital.

Meanwhile, the U.S., which has been urging the Maldives to accept offers of international mediation to resolve the political deadlock, called on President Nasheed and opposition parties to sort out their differences and work towards serving the needs of the Maldivians.

"I am sorry to see the absence of understanding between the government and the opposition parties," Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake told reporters in Colombo ahead of his Thursday's one-day visit to the nation of 314,000 Sunni Muslims.

Blake said Wednesday his visit was aimed at continuing the dialogue between the warring parties, and to try to narrow down their differences.

"If I can narrow the disputes, I will be happy to do so, to help de-fuse the situation," said Blake who was also the ambassador for Sri Lanka and concurrently the Maldives, prior to his present appointment last May.

Blake's visit closely follows that of U.S. Ambassador Patricia Butenis and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, who travelled to the Maldives in recent weeks for separate meetings to defuse the crisis there.

In 1988, Maldives shot into prominence, when a group of LTTE supporters wrested control of the island from President Abdul Gayoum. At the request of the U.S., Indian paratroopers were airlifted there who crushed the revolt.


Indian choppers, aircraft for Seychelles

After inking a security cooperation agreement with Maldives last year, India has decided to significantly upgrade defence ties with Seychelles and provide the island nation a maritime surveillance aircraft and two helicopters, besides intensifying patrolling operations in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The cooperation, which includes enhanced training and capacity building of the nation’s forces, was finalised after Seychelles requested India to assist it in dealing with the increased threat of piracy near its waters. The decision to increase cooperation was announced during Defence Minister A K Antony’s visit to the nation. The minster is leading a high-powered delegation to the country.

The aircraft are being provided over and above a $ 5 million assistance to the island nation for defence-related projects to strengthen its security forces. The two Chetak helicopters and a Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft will be delivered in just over a year. The orders for the aircraft have been placed with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Macau and Maldives offset weak Caribbean for Cable & Wireless

Telecoms firm Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC.L) enjoyed a good start to the year due to solid performances in Macau and the Maldives, offsetting the continuing problems in its key Caribbean market.

C&W Communications said on Wednesday the group had traded in line with expectations, despite its struggles with falling tourist numbers, a weak economy and strong competition in the Caribbean.

Shares in the group were up 2 percent in early trading, ahead of the wider telecoms index, which was up 1.4 percent.

"We have not seen any improvement in the underlying economies in the Caribbean," the group said, adding that it had had to introduce promotional programmes which diluted the average revenue generated per user.

"Macau and Monaco & Islands are both performing well backed by more favourable economic conditions," the company said. "Panama is seeing stronger economic growth which is helping the business to perform to expectations.

C&W Communications (CWC) split from the former Cable & Wireless group this year. The remaining business, now called Cable & Wireless Worldwide, warned on profits on Tuesday due to government spending cuts.

"As I highlighted in May, conditions remain challenging in the Caribbean and the trading performance continued to be soft in the first quarter," C&W Communications Chief Executive Tony Rice said in a statement.

"Our focus across the business remains on maintaining and growing market share, managing costs and generating cash to achieve our expected outcome for the year."

The group said the number of mobile subscribers in the Caribbean had risen by 4 percent on the same quarter last year and it maintained market share, but the revenue from each user still fell due to increasing competition.

The average revenue per user in Macau rose due to higher roaming fees from the increasing number of visitors and the use of data services to search the Internet. The Monaco & Islands unit was boosted by a strong performance in the Maldives.

Panama was trading broadly in line with expectations, as an increasing number of mobile subscribers offset the lower revenue per user.

Analysts said the performance was in line with forecasts and said the comments on the Caribbean were no worse than expected.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Maldives to launch probe into alleged cash for votes scandal

Amid the opposition's demand for President Mohamed Nasheed's resignation, Maldivian authorities on Monday said a probe will be ordered into charges by local media about some MPs bribing colleagues in Parliament to vote down government bills like those on privatisation.

"It looks like the concerned opposition MPs have a lot of explaining to do. People in Maldives are outraged at what they see as a cash for votes racket operating in the Majlis, (Parliament) in which some opposition MPs are trying to bribe other MPs to support anti-government legislation," a top official in the Maldives President's office said.

Last night, Maldivian electronic media aired three secret telephone recordings that implicated MPs in corruption and bribery, the official said, adding that an investigation would be launched into the matter.

The audio purportedly suggested one MP telling the other that one of their colleagues was taken to a resort "to do a 1 million deal for support on these matters."

In the second recording, another Majlis Member is heard allegedly suggesting an MP "to send someone to his office to pick up the cash".

In the third recording, an MP supposedly explains to a parliamentarian that they are working to "submit a no-confidence motion to the Majlis for a decision regarding the Minister for Finance Ali Hashim and the Minister for Civil Aviation Mahmood Razee who is responsible for the privatisation."

Another MP says "until all these things are done, to cease all work on the tax bills submitted by the government to the Majlis."

On Thursday, Maldives opposition leaders demanded President Mohamed Nasheed's resignation and new elections in a deepening power struggle between the executive and Parliament.

The government in the Indian Ocean archipelago has been stuck in a stalemate since the 13-member Cabinet resigned last Tuesday, accusing the opposition-controlled Parliament of blocking every legislative initiative.

"The only solution is for President Nasheed to resign and go for fresh elections to see how popular his government is," said Umar Naseer, deputy leader of the main opposition Dhivehi Raithunge Party.

A government official rejected the opposition demand, saying Nasheed planned to serve his five-year term.

Nasheed assumed power in the country's first democratic elections two years ago after defeating Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who served as the Maldivian President from 1978 to 2008.

Police arrested two prominent opposition leaders last Tuesday on corruption allegations.


Monday, July 5, 2010

GMR-MAHB Alliance Powering Into Global Airport Sector

The commercial alliance between Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) and India's GMR Group continues to thrive in the airport sector and the completion of the Indira Gandhi International Airport's third terminal mirrors another success venture.

Now their partnership cuts across the borders, spanning from Delhi to Istanbul to Male in Maldives, to develop and operate international airports.

MAHB was part of the international consortium led by GMR, a leading Bangalore-headquartered infrastructure conglomerate that took 37 months to complete the swanky US$2.6 billion (RM9.1 billion) terminal, also named T3.

"Main fundamentals are our values -- the vibration is there and the humility. Lot of matching is there. So wherever we go, Malaysia is with us, in Hyderabad, Delhi, Istanbul (Turkey) and Maldives," GMR chairman Grandhi Mallikarjun Rao told Malaysian media on Sunday.

"Lot of our people in Hyderabad (airport) were trained in Kuala Lumpur, our AOCC (airport operation control centre) and lot of systems are from Kuala Lumpur and all were trained there. They help us in building infrastructure and managing airports," he said.

GMR holds a 54 per cent stake, while Airports Authority of India 26 per cent, MAHB 10 per cent and Germany's Fraport 10 per cent, to form a joint venture company Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), which is involved in modernising India's main gateway.

Under a public private partnership model, DIAL, had been given the mandate to finance, design, build, operate and maintain the Delhi Airport for 30 years, with an option to extend it by another 30 years.

Recently, GMR tied up with MAHB to secure a bid to modernise Male International Airport, estimated to be worth US$373 million (RM1.3 billion), and in Turkey both pooled their expertise in 2007 to develop the Sabiha Gokcen International Airport.

"We consider ourself very lucky to have such a very good partner and we find the GMR Group to be very professional, knowledgeable, committed and reliable. Our relationship has blossomed," MAHB chairman Tan Sri Dr Aris Othman said at the press conference held at the newly opened T3.


GMR says Maldives project safe despite political storm

The GMR group has said the current crisis in Maldives will not affect its Male airport development plans.

Maldives plunged into a crisis last week when its cabinet resigned en masse, reportedly over the grant of the airport project to GMR group.

GMR, which operates the Delhi airport, won the bid to build, operate, modernise and expand the Male International Airport (MIA).

As per reports in the local media, opposition parties have sought an injunction from a court to delay implementation of the agreement.

Spokesperson for the joint opposition committee, Imad Solih, was quoted saying, “(the agreement) contains suspicious (elements) and issues relating to corruption.” The opposition also accused the government of not consulting the Maldives Airports Company board members on the deal.

Kiran Kumar Grandhi, Chairman (Airports), GMR, said he did not think the crisis would affect the deal in any way. “The deal is done and sealed. We don’t foresee any problems,” he said.

“It’s all been done in a very transparent manner. The international bidding process was monitored by IFC, Washington,” Grandhi added.

GMR officials, who did not wish to be named, said there appeared to be a deliberate attempt on the part of some to create problems. “The process has been on for the last 10 months. Now, suddenly they have woken up and started making all kinds of allegations,” an official said.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Maldives extends MPs' house arrest as crisis drags

A Maldivian court has extended the house arrest of two key opposition lawmakers amid a dragging power struggle between the country's president and parliament, an official said Saturday.

The High Court agreed late Friday to a government appeal to keep the two MPs under house arrest for two weeks, the official said, adding that police were investigating them for allegedly trying to bribe independent MPs.

MPs Abdulla Yamin and Qasim Ibrahim, leaders of smaller opposition parties, were arrested by police on Tuesday shortly after a political crisis erupted when the cabinet resigned en masse.

President Mohamed Nasheed and the opposition-controlled parliament are at loggerheads over how to run the atoll nation of 330,000 Sunni Muslims two years after the Indian ocean state held its first multi-party elections.

Nasheed's 13-member group of ministers quit on Tuesday, saying parliament was blocking all its efforts to govern the country, South Asia's most expensive tourist destination, and undermining the authority of the executive.
Officials said Nasheed welcomed a statement from the European Parliament last week urging all sides to respect the constitution and promote good governance in the fledgling democracy.
The European Parliament had asked all sides to take "the measures which are necessary in order to promote good governance and allow the country to tackle the challenges it faces".
The Opposition People's Party, or DRP, said it was pressing for Nasheed to resign. "People are demanding Nasheed's immediate resignation," DRP spokesman Mohamed Shareef said.
The opposition-led parliament does not have the required two thirds majority to impeach Nasheed who has no power to dissolve the legislature.

Under the Maldives' presidential system of government, the president handpicks his cabinet and each nomination must be approved by parliament, which can later seek to remove a minister through a no-confidence vote.

The opposition had planned to bring a no-confidence motion against the education minister on Wednesday, but the cabinet resignation pre-empted the move.

Nasheed was elected in October 2008 for a five-year term while the majlis was elected at separate election in May 2009, also for a five-year term.

Source: AFP

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Maldives’ opposition denies charges

Leader of the Maldivian opposition, People’s Alliance Party, Abdulla Yameen vehemently denied the Maldivian Government’s charge that the Opposition created the current political crisis.
The Maldivian Cabinet comprising 13 ministers resigned last Tuesday, claiming Parliament was not cooperating, and the government levelled bribery charges against the opposition. However, this was a “false allegation conjured by President Mohamed Nasheed to cover up his weakness to govern with democracy;” Yameen who was the Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation during former President Gayoom’s administration alleged yesterday speaking to The Nation.
“The President’s inability to digest democratic values” has resulted in jeopardising the Government in Maldives, endangering public safety and welfare, he further noted.

As he explained, the rift between the President and the ministers has stemmed from the former’s decision to elect a body under his unanimous decision in endorsing a Public Finance Act, undermining the approval of Parliament. Contradicting the AFP reports that Parliament is led by the Opposition, he asserted that the ministers quit Parliament because the Constitution was not being properly adhered to.

As The Nation learns, he was under house confinement together with another opposition leader. Yameen told that the ruling Government had ordered the arrest of seven more MPs by 3:00 p.m. yesterday. “We have not been asked a single investigative question until now. If we are at fault, legal action should be taken against us. Instead, the President is resorting to violence,” he alleged. Asked about the future course of actions, the three main opposition parties were in a coalition, the former minister said, but they were not taking any action against the Government. The President’s “madness” and Government are “causing all the trouble,” he added.