Maldives snubs India yet again


A supporter of former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed shouts slogans during a protest against the current Maldives President Abdulla Yameen, demanding the release of opposition political prisoners in front of the Maldives embassy in Colombo on March 6, 2018. (ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
A supporter of former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed shouts slogans during a protest against the current Maldives President Abdulla Yameen, demanding the release of opposition political prisoners in front of the Maldives embassy in Colombo on March 6, 2018. (ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

A day after India welcomed lifting of Emergency in Maldives and reiterated that the island nation must implement the order passed by its Supreme Court on February 1, Maldives foreign ministry said it was an internal matter that should be resolved internally.

“The Government of Maldives firmly believes that the recent political developments is an internal political matter and therefore should remain as a matter to be resolved internally,” the ministry said.

The February 1 order overturned the convictions of its political prisoners, including that of its exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said in a statement that it supported a political dialogue between all opposition parties.

“We call upon the Government of the Maldives to restore all Articles of the Constitution, to allow the Supreme Court and other branches of the judiciary to operate in full independence, to promote and support the free and proper functioning of Parliament, to implement the Supreme Court’s Full Bench order of 1 February 2018 and to support a genuine political dialogue with all opposition parties,” the statement read.

This is not the first time Maldives has asked India to stay away from its internal matters. Earlier this month, at a press conference held in Male, Mohammed Shainee, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, said India must stay away from the island nation’s political crisis as it was as “internal matter.” Maldives did not intervene in Kashmir matter for the same reason, he said.

Meanwhile, Maldives’ ambassador to China Mohamed Faisal said the country was eager to embrace Chinese investments. Two of the biggest projects undertaken with Chinese investment include the airport expansion and a bridge connecting the airport to Male. Chinese company Beijing Urban Construction Group was awarded the contract during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Maldives in September 2014.

Chinese businesses have also invested in social housing and island resorts. China has also reportedly expressed an interest in building a port in Maldives.

“I must say Chinese businesses have been very slow coming to the Maldives,” Faisal told the South China Morning Post. “Right now, it’s only seven islands that Chinese have invested in, in the tourism sector. For a country with such capacity as China I think it is a very low number – it should be more than that.”