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  India   All India  15 Jun 2018  India ‘dismayed’ over Gayoom arrest

India ‘dismayed’ over Gayoom arrest

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jun 15, 2018, 1:33 am IST
Updated : Jun 15, 2018, 1:33 am IST

Ties worsen as India questions credibility of Presidential elections.

Relations between the Government of President Abdullah Yameen and India have deteriorated sharply in the past few months especially after the Maldivian President had initially declared a state of emergency in his tiny archipelago nation. (Photo: PTI)
 Relations between the Government of President Abdullah Yameen and India have deteriorated sharply in the past few months especially after the Maldivian President had initially declared a state of emergency in his tiny archipelago nation. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Indo-Maldivian ties continue to worsen, with New Delhi on Thursday reacting sharply and with “dismay” to reports that former Maldivian president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom had been sentenced to 19 months in prison in the tiny nation on charges of obstructing an investigation into an alleged plot to oust President Abdulla Yameen. Directly attacking the Maldivian government, New Delhi said the developments cast doubt on the commitment of the Government of the Maldives to uphold the rule of law.

Relations between the Government of President Abdullah Yameen and India have deteriorated sharply in the past few months especially after the Maldivian President had initially declared a state of emergency in his tiny archipelago nation. Maldives has politically moved extremely close to both China and Pakistan, something that New Delhi is viewing with some alarm.

In a statement following the developments, the MEA said, “It is, therefore, with deep dismay that we learned that the former President of the Maldives as well as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are being sentenced to long prison terms without fair trial. This casts doubt on the commitment of the Government of the Maldives to uphold the rule of law and will also call into question the credibility of the entire process of Presidential elections in September this year.”

New Delhi further said “it reiterates its advice to the Government of the Maldives to restore the credibility of the electoral and political process by immediately releasing political prisoners including former President Gayoom and Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and creating the necessary conditions for the participation of all political forces in the Presidential Elections”.

The MEA added, “Since the beginning of the political crisis in the Maldives, India has repeatedly urged the Government of the Maldives to allow all institutions, including the Supreme Court and the Parliament, to function in a free and independent manner, and to permit genuine political dialogue between all political parties. This has also been the demand of the international community at large. ... India believes that a democratic, stable and prosperous Maldives is in the interests of all its neighbours and friends in the Indian Ocean.”

Tags: abdullah yameen, maumoon abdul gayoom